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Is it from God? 

> Delivered in the 

First Baptist Church, Salt Lake City, Utah, 

— BY — 

ReY.-Mr^-; XaAMB, 

And Published by Request of 

His Excellency, Governor Murray. 

And Others. 

The Salt Lake Herald Job Oepartmemt. 



Salt Lake City, Utah, July 2, 1885. 
Dear Sir: 

The crowded houses, in attendance when 
your course of lectures were delivered in this city, sug- 
gest the propriety of givino^ to them a circulation beyond 
those who heard them, and giving to the general public 
the results of your research into the Book of Mormon. 

With this end in view we request that you publish 
the course, in such form as may seem best. 
Eli H. Murray, Thos. Marshall, 

A. B. Carlton, Joseph R. Walker, 
G. L. Godfrey, L. U. Colbath, 
Arthur L. Thomas, E. T. Sprague, 

G. S. Erb, C. K. Gilchrist, 

B. G. Raybould, T. W. Lincoln, 

RoBT. G. McNiece. 

To the Rev. Mr. M. T. Lamb. 

Rev. M. T. Lamb, Assistant Pastor First Baptist 

Church, Salt Lake City, Utah: 
Dear B7'other: 

It is with great pleasure that I submit the 
following, being a resolution unanimously adopted by 
the members of the First Baptist Church, convened in a 
regular meeting last evening: 

"Havinff been exceedinfjly interested and instru<^fed by 
the lectures recently delivered by brother Lamb, assistant 
pastor of this church, on the Book of Mormon, and heing 
fully persuaded of his capability and skill in handling this 
important subject successfully, and to the interests of the 
cause of Christ, 

*'Bb it BEsoiiVED, That we^ as a church, heartily unite 
in the request already made by His Excellency, Gover- 
nor Eli H. Murray, and others, that bro Lamb take steps im- 
mediately to have said lectures published in order that they 
may be brought within the reach of all. 

Yours truly, 

F. W. Blohm, 

Church Clerk. 



The preparation and delivery of the following lectures 
was undertaken with preat diffidence and hesitation. Only 
one person in the city favored it. The majority of his own 
people were not present at the delivery of his first lecture. 
f*- They had heard so much upon the various peculiarities of 
■^ the Mormon Churcli that the subject hid become nauseous, 
^ and the Mormons themselves had become so used to the sal- 
lies of their opponents that they took it as a matter of course 
\ and only smiled when a new announcement whs made. After 
studying the situation carefully, however, the author became 
satisfied that he had somethinff somewhat out of the usual 
beat-^n path, and that if honestly, earnestly and kindly pre- 
sented, it would receive attention and accomijlish Pome good. 
He accordingly posted a few notices in the neighborhood of 

4 his church, and advertised in the various city papers, nearly 
all of which kindly made a special note of the lecture. 

The Sunday morning Herald, for instance, contained a 
local item somewhat after this faKhion: 


^ Rpv. Mr. Lamb, of the Baptist church, has posted a few 

handbills in the neighborhood of his church, announcing a 
lecture upon the Book of Mormon to-night, promising *a 
calm, earnest discussion, entirely free from any abui^eor slan- 
der or ill will,' «-tc. If the gentleman succeeds in fulfilling 
his pledge, and can get through the entire lecture without 
descending to abuse or slander or exhibiting ill will^ he will 
do better than many of the Mormon opponents, and will de- 
serve a candid hearing, especially as he promipes something 
new and fresh in the lineof a discussion of tHe Mormon prob* 

This notice in the Seraldj probably, had mainly to do 
\vith the bringing out a large number of Mormons^ who pack- 
ed the house to overflowing, so that aside from the one- 
hundred extra chairs brought into requisition, many re- 
mained standing during the entire service. 

The promise of the lecturer was so faithfully carried out 
that the Mormons almost universally expressed their satis- 

faction and pleasure and determined to hear the course 
through. Next Sabbath evening, the schoolroom in the rear 
of the main audience room was thrown open and partially 
seated, and almost every available inch of sittinof or staodingr 
room in the entire building was occupied. And the same 
was repeated the third evening, multitudes going away who 
could not get in even at the door. 

The unasual, and to the author, the altogether unexpect- 
ed interest taken in the lectures during their delivery, added 
to the very kind request of His Excellency, Gov. Murray, 
and the other honorable gentlemen wbc se names are associa- 
ted with his, backed up by the unanimous vote of his own 
church, is the author's only excuse for thus presenting his 
humble efforts to the public. 

He would have been glad had time and opportunity per- 
mitted a careful and thorough review. His prayer is that in 
their wider field they may awaken thought, lead to investiga- 
tion, and finally result in the establishment of truth. 

Believing, as his intercourse with Mormon neighbors 
and his contact with a large number of Mormon families has 
led hitn to believe, that the majority of them are honest and 
sincere in their convictions, and regard the Book of Mormon 
as inspired of Hod, he feels profoundly moved as he ventures 
to come before them with so unwelcome a message as the word 
"fraud" must necessarily be. And yet, having reached this con- 
clusion by what seems to him irresistible logic and unanswer- 
able arguments, he dare not, as an honest and conscientious 
Christian man, who must answer at the bar of Ood for faith- 
fulness or neglect, withhold his conclusions. 

And he takes this opportunity of asking sincerely and 
earnestly any honest Mormon, who, after carefully weighing 
the arguments herein presented against the divine origin of the 
Book of Mormon, if he can present a real satisfactory reply, 
to do so through the public press,or by private correspondence, 
only hoping that any replies made, whether public or private, 
shall be made in the same kind, charitable. Christian spirit 
the author has, at least, tried to maintain throughout this 
discussion. M. T. LAMB. 

Salt Lake City, Utah, July, 1885. 


"The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in 
a furnace of earth, purified seven times." — Ps. 12, 6. 

The Book of Mormon lies at the foundation, is the 
corner stone of the Mormon Church : 

"We consider the Bible, Book of Mormon, Book of Doc- 
trine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price and Sayings of 
Joseph the Seer, our guides in faith and doctrine. The first 
four have been adopted as such by a vote of the saints in 
general conference." — From preface of "A Compendium of 
the Doctrines of the Gospel." 

"We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it 
is translated correctly : we also believe the Book of Mormon 
to be the word of God."— Art. 8 of "Articles of Faith." 

A slight hint that the Book of Mormon has one 
great advantage over the Bible: it was translated by 
divine inspiration, the Bible was not. The translation of 
the Bible was the work of fallible men, and therefore 
liable to many errors; the Book of Mormon was trans- 
lated through ''Urim and Thummim," helped by an 

angel sent from heaven, and therefore free from the 
errors that necessarily attach to a human translation. 

"And we know also that they have been translated by the 
gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; 
wherefore we know of a certainty that the work is true." — 
Affidavit of "The Three Witnesses." See preface to Book of 

"The tablets or plates were translated by Smith, who used 
a small, oval or kidney-shaped stone, called Urim and Thum- 
mim, that seemed endowed with the marvelous power of 
converting the characters on the plates, when used by Smith, 
into English, who w^ould then dictate to Oowdry what to 
write." — Statement of David Whitmer. See "Myth of the 
Manuscript Found," p. 83. 

Martin Harris "explained the translation as follows: By 
aid of the seer-stone, sentences would appear and were read 
by the prophet and written by Martin,^ and when finished, 
he would say ^Written,' and if correctly written, that sentence 
would disappear and another appear in its place, but if not 
^ written correctly, it remained until corrected, so that the 
translation was just as it was engraven on the plates, precisely 
in the language then used."— Myth of the M. F., p. 91. 

In addition to the very great advantage the Book of 
Mormon possesses over the Bible in an inspired transla- 
tion, it possesses other advantages: 

"If the prophetical part of this wonderful book be com- 
pared with the prophetical declarations of the Bible, there 
will be found much evidence in the latter to establish the 
truth of the former. But though there are many predictions 
in the Book of Mormon relating to the great events of the 
last days which the Bible gives us no information about, yet 
there is nothing in the predictions of the Bible that contradicts 
in the least the predictions of the Book of Mormon." 

"If the doctrinal part of the Book of Mormon be com- 
pared with the doctrines of the Bible, there will be found the 
same perfect harmony which we find on the comparison of the 
prophetical parts of the two books, although there are many 
points of the doctrine of Christ that are far more plain and 
definite in the Book of Mormon than in the Bible, and many 
things revealed in relation to doctrine that never could be 
fully learned from the Bible." — "Divine Authenticity of the 
Book of Mormon," by Orson Pratt. 

*Martin TIarris wrote a small })ortion of the book only. The major 
portion was written by Oliver Cowdry. 

The Book of Mormon is then superior to the Bible 
in at least three respects: 

a. — It was infallibly translated. 

^ __It has in it ''many predictions relating to the 
great events of the last days -which the Bible gives us no 
information about;" and, 

c. — "There are many points of the doctrine of Christ 
that are far more plain and definite in the Book of 
Mormon than in the Bible; and many things revealed in 
relation to doctrine that never could be fully learned 
from the Bible." 

And this view of the superior merits ol the Book of 
Mormon came from a very high source — from the 
Prophet and Seer, Joseph Smith, himself. 

"Nov. 28th, 1841. — In council with the twelve apostles, 
Joseph Smith said: 'I told the brethreu that the Book of- 
Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the 
keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to Go(l 
by abiding by its precepts than by any other book."— Com- 
pendium, p. 273. 

This central place accorded the Book of Mormon 
by the Mormon Church is quite a sufficient excuse for 
asking your attention to a consideration of its claims to 
divine authority. The following earnest, incisive words 
from Orson Pratt I most heartily approve: 

^'This book must be either true or false. If true, it is 
one of the most important messages ever sent from God to 
man, affecting both the temporal and eternal interests of 
every people under heaven to the same extent and in the 
same degree that the message of Noah aifected the inhabi- 
tants of the old world. If false, it is one of the most cunning, 
wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the 
world; calculated to deceive and ruin millions who will sin- 
cerely receive it as the word of God, and will suppose them- 
selves securely built upon the rock of truth until they are 
plunged, with their families, into hopeless despair. 

"The nature of the message in the Book of Mormon is 
such that, if true, no one can possibly be saved and reject it; 
if false, no one can possibly be saved and receive it. There 

fore, every soul in all the world is equally interested in 
ascertaining its truth or falsity. In a matter of such infinite 
importance, no person should rest satisfied with the conjec- 
tures or opinions of others. He should use every exertion 
himself to become acquainted with the nature of the message; 
he should carefully examine the evidences of which it is 
offered to the world ; he should, with all patience and perse 
verence, seek to acquire a certain knowledge whether it be 
of God or not. 

*'If, after a rigid examination, it be found an imposition, 
it should be extensively published to the world as such. The 
evidence and arguments upon which the imposture was 
detected should be clearly and logically stated, that those 
who have been sincerely, yet unfortunately, deceived may 
perceive the nature of the deception, and be reclaimed, and 
that those who continue to publish the delusion may be 
exposed and silenced." — Introduction to ^'Divine Authen- 
ticity of the Book of Mormon." 

This Book of Mormon, like our Bible, is made up 
of several books, some fifteen all together, purporting to 
have been written by different authors extending through 
a period of looo years, beginning 600 years before 
Christ and closing 400 years after Christ. * 

It records the history of a small colony, embracing 
two famihes, who left the City of Jerusalem during the 
reign of Zedekiah, King of Judah, 600 years before 
Christ; wandered for a time in the Desert of Arabia, 
then built ships of a peculiar construction, in which 
they embarked and were drifted across the Indian Ocean, 
^ed by th^ hand of a strange Providence, until at last, 
crossing the Pacific, they landed on the shores of South 
America, where they grew into a numerous and wealthy 
people, and although divided into two rival factions, 
they continued to increase until they had spread over 
the greater portion of North and South America. 

About 150 years before Christ, by a special revela- 

*One book, the "Book of Ether," professes to be a compilation, by the 

' Prophet Moroni, from twenty-four ancient plates, purporting- to be the 

record of a people who came over to this country directly after the " Confusion 

of tongues,*' as recorded in Gen. ii, 1-9, and lived and flourished here for over 

1000 years, and were then utterly exterminated. 


tlon from heaven, a Christian Church was organized, 
and the ordinance of baptism administered by immersion. 
Churches rapidly multiplied, and the truth continued to 
extend until it controlled in a measure the destinies of 
the whole people. 

A few days after Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection 
in Jerusalem^ as recorded in the New Testament, he 
appeared in person to the churches and the people on 
this continent; remained with them forty days, preaching 
the gospel, performing a multitude of strange miracles, 
establishing the faith of his people, &c. But after he 
left them there was a sad apostacy from the faith; 
dissensions and differences increased, wars bitter and 
relentless occured. Matters grew worse and worse until, 
in the year A. D. 384, the entire population of the two 
continents met in deadly conflict around the sacred hill 
Cumorah, and one of the most sanguinary battles that 
the pages of history anywhere records resulted in the 
complete annihilation of the one party by the destruction 
of their 230,000 warriors, and the closing up of the 
divinely inspired records, and the hiding ^^of the plates 
containing the Book of Mormon, where they remained 
for a period of 1400 years, until Joseph Smith, by the 
direction of the resurrected Moroni, found their hiding 
place and brought them forth to the world. 

On May 8, 1838, Joseph Smith, when asked, ''How 
and where did you obtain the Book ot Mormon? " gave 
this answer: 

" Moroni, who deposited the plates (from whence the 
Book of Mormon was translated,) in a hill in Manchester, 
Ontario County, New York, bfeing dead and raised again 
therefrom, appeared unto me, and told me where they were, 
and gave me directions how to obtain them. I obtained 
them, and the Urim and Thummim with them, by means of 
which I translated the plates. And thus came the Book of 
Mormon.''— "Compendium," p. 305. 


In inviting your attention, to-night, to a candid and 
careful examination of the claims of the Book of Mormon 
to divine inspiration, I ask, friends, first of all, that 
you will listen to the considerations I present with the 
same candor and earnest desire to know the truth that 
I myself have constantly sought to cherish in the 
preparation. It is in my nature to be charitable, to 
take the side of the weakest; to feel a profound sympathy 
for the oppressed, the maligned, the persecuted. When 
therefore I began the study of the Book of Mormon, I 
brought to it an honest desire to know the truth, and a 
full determination to judge it with all possible charity, 
and be convinced of its value, its true inspiration, if I 
could find any real genuine proofs that it came from 

And yet it is due you, and but the part of candor to 
confess, that a long and patient study of the proofs of 
the divine inspiration of the Bible — a careful examination 
of many of the objections infidels and sceptics during the 
ages past have urged against it — have made me perhaps 
somewhat mdre critical and exacti?ig in my demands 
than I otherwise might have been. I cannot accept 
anything as inspired of God unless the plain marks of 
inspiration are found upon it. God's finger-marks must 
be clearly visible. 

The ground taken is this: God does not do things 
as men do. He stamps himself, his own infinite perfect- 
ions upon everything he undertakes. He never does 
things by halves, never bungles or makes mistakes. 
Whether he creates a mountain or the tiniest insect, 
whether a blade of grass or a drop of water, he displays 
a wisdom, a skill, a perfection utterly beyond the reach 
of fallible, blundering, imperfect man. He makes no 
blunders, his finger-marks are perfection — ^'All his 


works praise him," — and no exception to this statement 
is possible. 

A?id so his fi^iger-marks are seen, must be seen in 
every word he inspires. Whether he records a history, 
utters a prophecy, or inspires a proverb or a psalm, he 
does it in a way that is like himself; he stamps his own 
infinite nature upon it, so that the words of the psalmist 
are always found true: ''Thy testimonies are wonder- 
ful." ''Every word of God is pure," pure "as silver, 
tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times" 
language that cannot possibly be true of any merely 
human production. So completely is this true of the 
Bible, dear friends, that one rule all the best critics in the 
world have been forced to adopt is this: '' Every book 
in the Bible, to be accepted as divine, must, in its style 
of composition, in its contents, its general make up, be 
such as no man on earth, or any number of men, could 
possibly compose. " 

Any book, therefore, to secure recognition and 
reverence as from God, should plainly reveal God's 
finger-marks in its every part. No awkward blundering, 
no stooping to slang phrases, no exhibition of human 
weaknesses in any direction. Every word of it that 
purports to come from him, every thought that express- 
es his thought, must be as pure as perfection itself, or it 
could not have come from that fountain of purity, ' ' as 
silver purified seven times," until every particle of dross 
has been eliminated. And permit me to say, friends, 
every book in the Bible has a thousand times over 
during the ages past been subjected to this severe ordeal, 
and has come out of every trial ' ' without the smell of 
iire ' ' upon its fair pages. 

If then, the Book of Mormon, upon a candid and 
careful examination shall be able to pass this searching 


test; if its style of composition is such that no man on 
earth could have produced it; if its contents continually 
breathe the atmosphere of the Infinite One — the pure 
and holy God; if there is nothing foolish in it/ no 
mistakes, no exhibition of the common weaknesses and 
frailties of our poor, weak, perverted human natures; if, 
when it is carefully dissected, as one would dissect, with 
a microscope, a blade of grass, or a drop of water, or a 
•grain of sand, a wonderful completion and perfection is 
everywhere displayed, then I shall be bound to accept 
the Book of Mormon, as I am bound for the same 
reason to accept every book in this Book of Books as 
the direct offspring of God himself Let me then, to- 
night, very briefly call your attention to one strange 
peculiarity of the Bible that stamps it as divine, and 
then briefly examine the Book of Mormon to see 
whether it exhibits the same marks of the divine hand. 
Suppose you pick up a blade of grass or a kernel of 
wheat, or a simple hair, falling from the head, or a 
single drop of water, and look at it. At flrst you will 
say ''What of it? I see nothing strange, nothing divine 
in this little affair." But begin carefully to study it. 
Take your microscope and dissect it, and you shall be 
astonished at the revelations made. Almost a thousand 
evidences of the handiwork of God, as completely 
beyond the wisdom and skill and power of men as is the 
creation of a world. So, if you please, turn at random 
to any one of the short historical incidents found in the 
Bible, and read it over. At first reading, you may 
notice nothing at all peculiar about it. Its plain, simple, 
nothing constrained or studied, no effort at crispness or 
sharpness, or condensation; no attempt at oratorical or 
rhetorical display, no embellishments of any kind. A 
simple, straightforward, matter of fact statement. And 


you say, ^' There' vS nothing strange about that. Any 
one could write after that fashion." But wait a Httle. 
Study this Httle incident carefully, and presently you will 
begin to discern some strange things about it. 

I have read the life of Washington, the father of our 
country — presume I have read enough about him to fill 
a good sized volume; possibly several volumes. In the 
Bible I have read a few short statements about the 
Patriarch Abraham. Probably not over four or five 
pages, all told, tell us all we knew about Abraham. 
And yet if called upon to describe the characters of the 
two men I should feel more at home with Abraham 
than Washington ; seem better acquainted, really know 
more of him, and why ? Because in those few incidents 
of Bible history is a better, more complete and compre- 
hensive delineation of character than in all the volumes 
written about Washington. 

Try an experiment: Procure a correct history of 
the United States, and read the long chapter of fifty 
pages that describes the traitorous plot of Arnold when 
he sought to deliver a division of our army into the 
hands of the British. Then take your New Testament 
and read the ten or dozen verses that tell us all we 
know of the traitor Judas Iscariot, and when done see if 
you do not feel better acquainted with the true character 
of Judas, really knew more about him than about 

Read carefully through a well written life of Napo- 
leon Bonaparte; occupy a week, or a month if necessary, 
in a careful study of the man, his character and moral 
worth. Then turn to 2nd Chron., 28 chapter, and read 
twenty verses about King Ahaz and his people. Spend 
one or two hours only in reading and rereading, and 
then take up your pen and see which of the two you can 


write about with the greatest clearness and definiteness. 
A few such experiments as this will satisfy you that 
there is a wonderful difference between the Bible and 
every other book in this respect. A few verses will 
draw out a man's character to the very life, proving the 
assertion of the Apostle true: "The word of God is 
quick and powerful, sharper than any two edged sword, 
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, 
* * * and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of 
the heart." 

As the skillful artist will sometimes, by a few master- 
strokes of his brush, produce a picture that seems almost 
to live and breathe before you, so a few master-strokes 
from God's pen will probe to the bottom of the human 
heart, unmask the moral character, and hold it up 
naked and uncovered where all the world can behold it. 

But the same wonderful peculiarity can be seen in 
other things besides description of character. The his- 
tories furnished are just so concise and comprehensive. 
A single verse often will tell of a long and bloody battle. 
The transactions of a whole campaign are crowded into 
a few sentences. And yet the discription is simplicity 
itself— not the least appearance of crowding, no seeming 
effort at condensation or brevity. There is nothing that 
can at all equal this in the history of man. Imagine a 
poor cripple made whole by a miracle. Take pen and 
paper and attempt a discripuon. Give a touching 
account of the poor cripple's previous history, the time 
and place of the occurrence; describe all the circum- 
stances attending the miracle, who performed it, how it 
was done, what people thought of it, and how the cripple 
was affected by it. Describe the whole in as few words 
as possible, without copying from the Bible, and if you 
compress your story into five or six pages you will do 


remarkably well. But in the New Testament such a 
scene is fully and completely described in five short 

The life and character and times of the most remark- 
able and important personage that has ever appeared on 
earth, the Lord Jesus Christ, is, by Matthew beautifully 
and clearly exhibited in the small compass of thirty-one 
pages print. And be it remembered, Matthew was an 
unlettered man, not at all used to writing. This book, 
his first and last attempt, so far as we know. But 
Washington Irving was one of the most learned and 
excellent writers the world has ever seen — had practiced 
writing and the art of condensing all his life, and yet 
he could not exhibit the life and character and times of 
George Washington short of five or six octavo volumes. 

D'Aubeigne has written the history of the great 
reformation in Germany in Jive large volumes. Luke, in 
the Acts of the Apostles, has furnished us the history of 
quite as extensive a reformation in thirty -three pages. 
And in fact, friends, this wonderful comprehensiveness, 
this strange tact at compression, this unapproachable 
ability to say a great deal in a few words, prevails all 
through the Bible. It's one of God's finger-marks — 
precisely what we might expect from a being of infinite 
perfections. Why, dear friends, I can safely challenge 
all the doctors of divinity, or skilled writers of the 
present age, to crowd into ten pages every thought and 
sentiment and inference the Apostle Paul, with the 
greatest grace and simplicity, puts into one page. 

A young man in old Dr. Wayland's class, once 
flippantly remarked about the Proverbs of Solomon, 
which they happened to be studying: ''Why it's easy 
enough to vjxiX.^ proverb s\ anybody could do that." Th^ 
Doctor simply replied: 'Try a few." 


Try your hand, friends, at writing history, or biog- 
raphy, or doctrine, or parable, or proverb, and place 
your production along side of God's; and I'll abide the 
result, yourself being the judge. One of our poets has 

"Let all the heathen writers join 

To form one perfect book : 
Great God, when once compared with thine, 

How mean their writings look I" 

Look at the discourses of our Lord, any one of them 
- —the Lord's prayer, if you please; or the whole Sermon 
on the Mount. Surely * 'never man spake like this 
man." The first eight sentences of that sermon on the 
mount are by universal consent placed above any other 
eight sentences ever spoken by mortal lips. Friend 
and foe, infidel, atheist and christian, have from the 
first acknowledged that these verses stand alone amid 
all the literature of earth, unapproached and unapproach- 
able, not more in their comprehensiveness and sublimity 
than in their beautiful simplicity: 

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom 
of heaven. 

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 

"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteous- 
ness, for they shall be filled. 

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. 

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," 
&c., &c. 

And, please reflect, that sermon was an extempora- 
neous, impromptu discourse, and the first extended ser- 
mon, so far as we know, preached by the man Christ 
Jesus — a young man, only thirty years old, who had 
never been in the schools, not even in the common 
schools; never studied the art of composition, or prac- 
ticed compression. But he opens his mouth, and from 
his lips flow words so divine, both in the thought and 


in the style of expression, that they have never 
been approached by mortal man. And the wonder 
is only increased when we reflect, it is the pen of 
Matthew the publican that records this sermon, some 
tiventy-five or thirty years after it was preached. If 
Matthew remembered the exact words of the Savior, and 
wrote just as first spoken, it was a wonderful miracle of 
viemory. If he only remembered the substance of the 
sermon, and clothed Jesus' thought in his own language, 
then we have a still greater miracle to account for : — an 
ignorant^ U7ilettered publican^ almost infinitely outstrip- 
ping all the skilled writers on 4arth I 

It would be easy to multiply illustrations of this 
thought, for the whole Bible in its every part is an illus- 
tration. In fact, friends, if any portion of the Bible, any 
book in it, should fail to exhibit 'clearly and truly these 
necessary and reasonable credentials of the divine hand, 
it would be reason enough for rejecting it and denying it 
a place in the scriptures of truth ; for, according to the 
test of our text, all the words of the Lord should be 
^'pure words ;'* as ''silver tried in a furnace of earth, 
purified seven times. ' ' 

And now, let us very briefly, and yet carefully and 
honestly, apply this test of divinity to the Book of 

The time is so limited that we shall be able to ex- 
amine only two or three brief specimens to night. But, 
the subject will be continued, for I do not design to 
allow even the suspicion of unfairness in the selection of 

I opened the Book of Mormon at random the other 
day, to the i loth page and read from 2nd Nephi, 14, 
10, the following sentences : 

"And now I, Nephi, must make an end of my prophesy- 
ing unto you, my beloved brethren. And I cannot write but 
a few things, which I know must surely come to pass. Where- 
fore, the things which I have written sufficeth me, save it be 
a few words which I must speak concerning the doctrine of 
Christ ; wherefore, I shall speak unto you plainly, according 
to the plainness of my prophesying." 

Have read you sixty-nine words. 

And, now, friends, I am not gifted at all in the art of 
condensing — have had very little practice or culture in 
that direction. Multitudes of writers can easily ''beat 
me by half" In the present case, I have used the au- 
thor's words almost exclusively, simply leaving out the 
inelegant and uncalled for repetitions, the unnecessary 
verbiage, &c., and yet preserving every thought of the 
writer in a much simpler, neater, and better constructed 
sentence of only thirty-two words, as follows: 

"And now I, Nephi, must close my prophesying, with a 
few words plainly spoken, according to my custom, concern- 
ing the doctrine of Christ ; words which I know must surely 
come to pass " » 

I turn again to page 318 and read from Book of 
Alma, 19, 4-5 : 

"Now, I unfold unto you a mystery; nevertheless, there 
are many mysteries which are kept that no one knoweth 
them, save God himself. But I show unto you one thing, 
which I have inquired diligently of God, that I migthtknow, 
that is concerning the resurrection. Behold, there is a time 
appointed that all shall come forth from the dead. Now, 
when this time cometh, no one knows ; but God knoweth the 
time which is appointed. Now, whether there shall be one 
time, or a second time, or a third time, that men shall come 
forth from the dead, it mattereth not , for God knoweth all 
these things ; and it sufficeth me to know that this is the case; 
that there is a time appointed that all shall rise from the 
dead. Now, there must needs be a space betwix the time of 
death, and the time of the resurrection. 

And now I would enquire what becometh of the souls 
of men from this time of death to the time appointed for the 
resurrection? Now, whether there is more than one time ap- 
pointed for man to rise, it mattereth not ; for all do not die 


at once : and this mattereth not ; all is as one day with God, 
and time only is measured unto men ; therefore, there is a 
time appointed unto men that they shall rise from the dead; 
and there is a space between the time of death and the res- 
urrection. And now concerning this space of time, what 
becometh of the souls of men is the thing which I have 
enquired dilligently of the Lord to know; and this is the 
thing of which I do know; Ana when the time cometh when 
all shall rise, then shall they know that God knoweth all the 
times which are appointed unto men. Now, concerning the 
state of the soul between death and the resurrection : Be- 
hold, it has been made known unto me, by an angel, that the 
spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from the mor- 
tal bodj', yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or 
evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life." 

Have read you in all 365 words. 

Now, please carefully observe that I include 
every thought and even hint of the author, and yet con- 
dense into 142 words everything he has said in 365 words: 

"There are many mysteries, which only God may know; 
but, having inquired diligently of him, he permits me to unfold 
unto you a mystery concerning the resurrection. Behold,there 
is a time appointed, known only to God, when all shall come 
forth from the dead ; whether all at the same time, or at diff- 
ernt times, it does not matter, God knows and that is suffi- 
cient ; all do not die at once ; time is measured unto man, 
but with God all is as one day. And when the resurrection 
Cometh, then all shall know that God knoweth all the times 
which are appointed unto man. 

"Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, 
that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from 
this mortal* body, whether good or evil, are taken home to 
that God who gave them life." 

These are still awkwardly expressed sentences. If 
we should ignore the author's language and his unnat- 
ural arrangement, treating of the resurrection before he 
treats of the intermediate state, we might put his thoughts 
in a still briefer compass, somewhat as follows : 

"There are many mysteries known only to God ; but, 
having earnestly asked him, he has revealed to me through 
an angel, the following glorious facts: 

"First — that the spirits of all men, good and evil, 


when they depart from this mortal body, are immediately 
taken home to the God who gave them life. 

* 'Second— as to the time of the final resurrection from 
the dead, it is not known to us whether all are to be raised 
at the same time, or at different times; but, when it finally 
occurs, then we shall know that God knew all about it." 

This, as you can readily see, is the substance of the 
above immense revelation that required the help of an 
angel of God ; and that occupies nearly a full page of 
the Book of Mormon. 

Once more, let me read you a sentence upon page 
224, Book of Alma, 3, 7. 

"And now I say unto you, that this is the order after 
which I am called: yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren; 
yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land ; yea, to preach 
unto all, both old and young, both bond and free: 
yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and 
the rising generation; yea, to cry unto them that they must 
repent and be born again; yea, thus saith the spirit, repent, 
all ye eads of the earth, for the kingdom of heaven is soon at 
hand ; yea, the Bon of God cometh in his glory, in his might 
majesty, power and dominion. Yea, my beloved brethren, 
I say unto you, that the spirit saith, behold the glory of the 
king of all the earth; and also the king of heaven shall veiy 
soon shine forth among all the children of men: and also the 
spirit saith unto me, yea, crieth unto me with a mighty voice, 
saying, ge forth and say unto this people, repent, for except 
ye repent ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of heaven." 

I ask you, friends, what has the author said in all 

these 187 words? Only this : — 

"I am commissioned by the spirit, speaking in thunder 
tones, to preach repentance to my brethren, and to all the 
people of the land, because the kingdom of heaven is at hand, 
when the Son of God, king of earth and heaven, cometh in 
majesty and glory." Forty-seven instead of 187 words. 

It has been suggested that the blunders in composi- 
tion, awkward and uncalled for repetitions, sentences 
constructed in defiance of all rhetorical rules, often cov- 
ering up and obscuring the thought of the author, must 
all be explained by the fact that Joseph Smith was an un- 
educated and unlettered youth. 


But, please reflect a moment. These sentences are, 
professedly, a translation of an ancient record — trans- . 
feringto our language words and thoughts already written 
in an ancient tongue. In such a translation the trans- 
lator ^ if he is a poor English scholar, may misspell the 
words of our language; he may easily make grammati- 
cal, mistakes in the construction of his sentences; may 
use unnecessary words in the expression of a single 
thought; but, he may not repeat a. thought three or four 
times over, as in the above examples, except those repe- 
titions are found in the original ^ from which he is trafis- 
lathig. For instance, in the last quotation: 

"And now I say unto you, that this is the order after 
which I am called; yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren; 
yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land." 

It is evident there must have been something en- 
graven upon those ancient plates containing this idea — 
that he was commissioned to preach to all his brethren, 
and to every person dwelling in the land. 

But then, there must have been added to this first 
statement something in those ancient plates that in- 
volved this further statement: 

"Yea, to preach unto all, both old and yeung, both bond 
and free;" 

or else Joseph Smith added it without authority, and 
thus trifled with his readers. And the same is true of 
the third clause, or repetition: 

"Yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, 
and the rising generation." 

Either these repetitions were found upon those origi- 
nal plates, or they were added by Joseph Smith to the 
translation. If they were added by Mr. Smith, then he 
has trifled with sacred things, committed the fearful sin 


of adding to the words of divine revelation ; loading 
down God's pure words with so much useless rubbish as 
to cast doubt and discredit upon the whole. And, if he 
could or would do this in these instances, what warrant 
have we that he has not freque7itly done it? in fact, that 
the whole book has not been thus altered or embellish- 
ed to suit his own fancies? 

But, the facts are, Joseph Smith did not, himself 
translate a single sentence. The statements of the eye- 
witnesses are very plain upon this point: 

"And we know, also, that they have been translated by 
the gift and^powerof God. "^— The "Three Witnesses." 

"The tablets, or plates were translated by Smith, who 
used a small oval, or kidney-shai>ed stone, called Urim and 
Thummim, that seemed endowed with the marvelous power 
of converting the characters on the plates, when used by 
Smith, into English."— David Whitmer. 

"By aid of the seer-stone, sentences would appear and 
were read by the prophet * * * so that the translation was 
just as it was engraven on the plates, precisely in the lang- 
uage then used." — Martin Harris. 

It is plain from these statements that Joseph Smith 
had no responsibility whatever as to the wordin^^ of the 
translation. The stone itself was endowed ' *by the gift 
of God" with the ''marvelous power of converting the 
characters on the plates into English." The English 
* 'sentences would appear on the stone and were read by 
the prophet." All Mr. Smith had to do, then, was 
simply to read what appeared on the stone. 

We are forced therefore to the conclusion that all 
these senseless repetitions, this worse than useless 
verbiage, is and 7nust have been in the original plates, and 
not at all the result of Mr. Smith's ignorance and want 
of culture. 

And hence we must call in question the divine 
inspiration of those original plates, inasmuch as such 


blundering repetitions are directly at variance with all 
we have learned of God's style of writing. 

If it be said, by way of excuse for such sins against 
all the ordinary rules of composition, that the authors of 
those old sentences I have read you, Nephi and Alma, 
may have been unlettered men, I reply, first: These men 
were not unlettered men. Nephi claims to have been 
taught "in all the learning" of his father, and both of 
them were the leading men, the best posted men of their 
times. I reply, second: Even if they had been unlet- 
tered meh, they could not have made such blunders 
had they been inspired of God. ^ Matthew, the publican, 
author of the Gospel of Matthew, was an unletrered man. 
Peter and James, authorsof three epistles, were unlettered 
men. John, author of one of the Gospels, the Book of Re- 
velation, and three brief epistles, was an unlettered man, 
and so was the Lord Jesus himself an unlettered man. But 
where in all their writings or speeches can you find any 
such egregious blunders in composition as these specimens 
from the Book of Mormon? On the contrary, under 
the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they made most 
wonderful use of the Greek language, as we have already 
learned, exhibiting a style so terse and making choice of 
words so comprehensive, that they have never been 
approached by the most skillful writers on earth. 

So far then, friends, our examination is absolutely 
against the inspiration of the Book, of Mormon. 

The specimens examined reveal no divine finger- 
marks — they only equal the blundering efforts of unlet- 
tered men. But we have only examined three brief 
specimens; these may prove peculiar exceptions. We 
will see in our. next. 


"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are 
your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are 
my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your 
thoughts." Isaiah 55: 8, 9. 

I desire at the beginning of the lecture this evening 
to make plain and prominent the thought presented last 
Sabbath evening, that the Book of Mormon must be 
judged by the same tests of divinity as are applied, and 
have, during the ages past, been applied to the Bible. Jt 
must bear the same clear impress of the divine hand up- 
on its pages, or we cannot accept it as Irom God. 

Last Sabbath evening the Bible was examined as 
to its style of composition, its peculiar way of saying things. 
There was found a remarkable terseness and comprehen- 
siveness. It says a great deal in a few words. In its de- 
lineations of character, it is especially so. A few strokes 
rom its master pen will lay open the human heart to its 
core, giving us clearer and juster views of a man^s" real 
character than any human writer has ever been able to 
express with ten times the number of words. 

The same strange tact at compression, ability to say 
a great deal in a few words, and yet saying it with won- 
derful simplicity and grace, are found in the historical 
narratives of the Bible. Various illustrations of this 


were given ; and, then, specimen passages were read 
from the Book of Mormon that not only failed utterly 
to come up to the divine standard of terseness and com- 
prehensiveness of statement, but that, judged even by 
ordinary human standards, exhibited a looseness, a 
verbosity, a reckless disregard of the simplest rules of 
composition, would hardly be tolerated in a common 
school boy. The first passage, containing sixty-nine 
words, was easily compressed into a sentence of thirty- 
two words. The second passage, containing 365 words, 
had 228 words left out of it, without the loss of a single 
thought, and with the advantage of a clearer and more 
vigorous presentation of the thoughts of the author, 
while the substance of the passage was presented in a 
still briefer form. The third passage, containing 187 
words, was easily boiled down into a sentence contain- 
ing forty-seven words, or one fourth the number in the 

• But, not wishing to judge the whole book by two or 
three brief specimens hastily selected, it was proposed to 
continue the examination this evening with a selection, 
covering such a broad range as to give us a fair idea of 
the prevailing style of the entire book. 

However, to make the examination as complete and 
valuable as possible, and taking for granted there are 
many here to night who were not here last Sabbath, 
it is proposed, first, to spend a Httle time in still further 
illustrating God's strange tact at compression, his pecu- 
liar way of saying a great deal in a few words, by calling 
your attention to a specimen recorded in the seventh 
chapter of the book of Daniel. 

In a vision by night, the prophet Daniel was caused 
to ^^^ four great beasts come out of the sea, diverse one 


from the other. And, in the explanation of the vision, 
given in the latter part of the same chapter, we are in- 
formed that these four beasts were designed to represent 
four different kingdoms that were to arise, one after the 
other. First, the Chaldean, or Babylonian ; second, the 
Persian, or Medo-Persian ; third, the Macedonian; and 
fourth, the Roman. 

At the time this vision was seen by Daniel, the first 
of these four kingdoms, the Babylonian, was in the 
height of her glory and power. She stood at the head 
of all the nations of the earth : from her majesty and 
beauty and power she was called, ' The lady of king- 
doms, the beauty of the Chaldees excellency, and the 
glory of the whole earth." She attained her position 
and eminence chiefly through the energy and skill of her 
greatest king, Nebuchadnezzar. With great rapidity 
he subdued the nations about him, pushing his conquests 
onward until proud Tyre fell, Jerusalem was taken 
and destroyed, and Egypt became a tributary province ; 
and no nation was found to dispute his sway. 

But the riches and luxury and glory brought into 
Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar became the means of des- 
truction to his successors. They became effeminate and 
weak ; no troubles from without to call forth the energies 
and power of the nation; king, princes and people gave 
themselves to ease and indulgence — the enjoyment of their 
luxuries. And, so effeminate had they become that, when 
Cyrus, king of Persia, marched against Babylon, they were 
cowed down and affrighted, and shut themselves up' 
closely within the walls of their great city : and, during 
the whole siege of two years, dare not venture out and 
risk a batde with the army of Cyrus. 

Now, to some, it may not appear at all singular or 


strange that all this history could h^ fully and coynpletely 
expressed iyi one short verse. But, such is the fact. The 
first beast that came up out of the river, representing the 
Babylonian monarchy, is thus described by Daniel, in 
the fourth verse: 

"The jfirst was like a lion, and had eagrle's wings; I be- 
held till the wings thereof were plucked and it was lifted up 
from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and 
a man^s heart was given to it." 

Note the facts brought out in this verse : 

First — the Babylonian monarchy is compared to a 
lion. The lion is the king of all wild beasfe, the 
most majestic, noble, powerful of the whole. Such was 
Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar, the first, noblest, strong- 
est of the nations. But, 

Second — it says, the Hon had eagle's wiyigs. The 
lion is itself a beast of prey, representing the fact of his- 
tory that Babylon was given to making conquests, sub- 
sisting upon and plundering the nations about her. But, 
this was not enough, the lion had wings to show that the 
conquests of Nebuchadnezzar were Tuore rapid than or- 
dinary. He almost T^^ze^ from one conquest to another. 

But, says Daniel, '*I beheld till the wings thereof 
were plucked, and it was lifted from the earth, and made 
stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was 
given to it." As we have learned, after Nebuchadnez- 
zar, the Babylonian monarchy, ceased its conquests, and 
its power began to wane. 'Tts wings were plucked." 
• Not only so, there was eventually such a complete change 
that its desires for conquest were all gone, and it became 
so effeminate, and so much given to indulgence that a 
ravenous beast of prey would no longer fitly represent 
its character. H^nce Daniel saw the lion lifted up and 


changed so completely in its nature that a man's 
heart was given to it. 

"The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I be- 
held till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lift- 
ed up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, 
and a man's heart was given to it." 

Who could imagine that so much correct history 
could be crowded into one short verse? But, friends, 
you can find a great many such wonders in the Bible ; it 
is God's way of writing. 

The next verse, the fifth, is equally remarkable: 

"And beheld another beast, a second, like to a bear; and 
it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the 
mouth of it, between the teeth of it; and they said thus unto 
it, arise, devour much flesh." 

This second beast represents the Persian monarchy, 
and is likened to a bear, not a lion as the first. The 
bear has less strength, less majesty, but is no less raven- 
ous than the lion. Such was the Persian monarchy. 
After the lion, or Babylonian monarchy, had lost its lion 
nature and been given a man's heart, it fell an easy prey 
to the ravenous bear, the Persians. But, it says, the 
bear ''raised up itself on one side." This refers to the 
historical fact, very peculiar, but no less exactly true, 
that the Persians made conquests only on one side of 
them. History informs us that Cyrus and his successors 
never penetrated eastward of their own boundaries. The 
countries they subdued all lay to the west of Persia. 
That is west of a north and south line, but never east. 

Further, the bear had ''three ribs in its mouth 
between its teeth, ' ' showing not only its ravenous char- 
acter, but exhibiting proof that it had found prey and 
had devoured it. The Persians, under Cyrus and his suc- 
cessors, succeeded in making very extensive conquests 


westward. Lydia, Chaldea and Egypt, and other smaller 
nations, were devoured, plundered of their wealth and 
left bare hke bones. And these conquests only stirred 
up their hearts to attempt still greater conquests. Hence, 
the ribs in the bear's mouth are represented as saying, 
"arise, devour much flesh.'' 

It is interesting to read the history of the Persian 
kings and see how exactly this bear represents their 
character; and especially how hterally the last phrase in 
this short verse, ' 'arise, devour much flesh, ' ' has been 
fulfilled. Cyrus was almost constantly in war until his 
death, which occurred on the battle field while engaged 
with a wild horde of barbarians, living to the north- 
west of Persia, about the Caspian Sea. 

Cambyses his son, called in the Scriptures Artaxer- 
xes, was still more ambitious of conquest, and far more 
cruel. He came into Egypt with a great army and com- 
pletely destroyed it; laid much of the land desolate, and 
utterly ruined some of their largest and most magnificent 
cities. After ruining Egypt, he carried his wars into 
Ethiopia and Lydia, then back into Syria. 

Darius, who followed him, supposed to be Ahasu- 
erus of the book of Esther, was even more ambitious and 
anxious to be considered a hero, and obtain universal 
dominion. He marched a numerous army far into the 
interior of Europe, and attempted in several engage- 
ments to subdue the Greeks. But failing to accomplish 
his purpose, he was so exasperated that he returned 
home and began the most extensive preparations probab- 
ly ever made for war. For three years all Asia west of 
the Tigris river was in commotion and busy with prepa- 
rations for his £reat expedition, when death put an end 
to his labors, yet not an end to his plans and designs, 


for his son, Xerxes, continued the same preparations for 
five years more, and then marched into Greecia with the 
largest army, it is believed, ever collected together. The 
common account is, that it consisted of three million 
soldiers, with attendants, servants, women, etc., swelling 
the number to slmost^ve millions I 

Thus was Persia, headed by her kings, a great ' 'bear 
which lifted up itself on one side, and had ribs in its 
mouth between its teeth, which encouraged it to arise, de- 
vour much flesh. ' ' ♦ 

But, in the sixth verse, we have a brief outline of the 
third nation or kingdom that came into power: the 
Macedonian, under Alexander the Great. 

"After this I beheld, and lo another like a leopard, which 
had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl ; the beast had 
also four heads; and dominion was given to it." 

This verse is short, but it tells a great deal of his- 
tory. First, it says, ''After this," that is, after the vis- 
ion of the bear: and, according to history, the Macedon- 
ian empire began its conquests about 200 years after the 
Persian, under Cyrus. Second, this third kingdom is 
compared to a leopard. The leopard, like the lion and 
the bear, is a beast of prey, but differs widely from them 
in its characteristic traits. It belongs, as is well known, 
to the feline, or cat tribe of animals, and very much re- 
sembles the wild cat in its disposition. It is fierce and 
cruel, but is especially remarkable for its fleetness and 
its peculiar manner of watching, like the cat, for its prey, 
and springing out upon it when it is least aware of dan- 

Nothing could better express the difference between 
Alexander's army and the Persian than by comparing 
the one to a leopard and the other to a bear. The bear 


is heavy, clumsy and slow, the leopard light, agile and 
swift of foot. A single fact will sufficiently illustrate this 
difference. Alexander's army, when he came into Persia, 
consisted of only forty thousand infantry and seven 
thousand cavalry. And yet, so active and rapid was he, 
that with this small army he conquered all the then known 
world. The king of Persia came out against him with 
an army of one million midiaXxy and forty thousand cav- 
alry; but his army was completely routed, and all Persia 
fell into Alexander's hands.* 

But, observe again, this leopard had ''upon the back 
of it four wings of a fowl. " Not enough to compare Alex- 
ander's army to one of the fleetest, most active and crafty 
of wild beasts, but it must have four wings to assist it in 
darting upon its prey, and in flying from one conquest 
to another. The lion had two wings, but this beast had 
four. Nebuchadnezzar's rapid conquests were nothing 
to be compared with Alexander's. The world has never 
seen his like before or since. Julius Caesar, of ancient 
Rome, and Napoleon Bonaparte, of modern France, are 
the only two characters the world has ever produced 
who can at all bear a comparison to Alexander as a rapid 
conqueror. In six years time he subdued all Asia 
Minor, Syria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Arabia, the vast 
empire of Persia; had marched his victorious army into 
India, penetrated even beyond the Ganges, until there 
was not a nation known in the world that refused to ac- 
knowledge his sway. 

But notice again, it says, the leopard had ''four 
heads." Alexander died in the city of Babylon at the 
early age of thirty-one years, and his vast dominions 
descended not to his posterity, but were divided among 
his four chief generals. 


Selucus Nicanor had Persia and the East. Perdicas, 
and after him Antigonus, had Asia Minor. Cassander 
had Macedonia; and Ptolemaus had Egypt. And these 
four great empires remained much the same until all 
were conquered by the Romans. ' * And dominion was 
given to it." 

Is it not wonderful that God could cause Daniel to 
exhibit so much future important history in a verse no 
longer than this: 

"After this I beheld, and lo another like a leopard, which 
had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had 
also four heads, and dominion was given to it." 

The next beast, the/ourfk, was still more wonder- 
ful; it was '' dreadful and terrible and strong exceeding- 
ly." It had iron teeth and nails of brass, and break in 
pieces and trampled under foot the whole earth. 

But pardon me, friends, for trespassing so long in 
presenting these specimens of God's peculiar style of 
writing. I desire to convince you thoroughly, and be- 
yond the possibility of a question that God's way of put- 
ting things differs in a remarkable degree from ours, prov- 
ing true the text, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, 
neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord ; for as the 
heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher 
than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." 

And please bear in mind, friends, that we often loose 
much of the energy and pith of the original by the pov- 
erty of our language to exactly express it ; or perhaps I 
should say, by the poverty or want of skill on the part of 
our translators to choose the right words to fully express 
the divine thought of the original. For instance, the 
third verse of the first chapter of Genesis reads, in our Eng- 
lish version, ''And God said, let there be light, and there 


was light." This is short, expressive, wonderfully com- 
prehensive; but, the Hebrew original has much more 
life and energy and pith. ''And God said, light be !" 
addressing light direcriy in the imperative mood, com- 
manding it to come forth out of the darkness. ''Light 
be, and light was ;" the light obeyed the command of her 
sovereign and came into being. My attention was called 
the past week, in one of our religious papers, to a pass- 
age in Genesis, 49: 19, which reads in our version, "Gad, 
a troop shall overcome him, but he shall overcome at the 
last." Thirteen words very brief and comprehensive. 
But in the original Hebrew there are only six words. 
The word Gad itself means a troop or trooper; and the 
phrase, "shall overcome him," is the Hebrew verb from 
the same word '' troop-'' and so a literal rendering would 
be, "Trooper, a troop troops him, but he troops last." 
So very comprehensive and full of pith and energy and 
life is the original Hebrew in which all the Old Testa- 
ment was written. In the verses we have been consider- 
ing, Daniel's vision, I find the first verse mentioned con- 
tains in our translation forty -three words ; but, in the 
Hebrew, there are only twenty-one words. 

Now, if we had been favored with an inspired trans- 
lation of our Bible, if the same divine mind that first dic- 
tated these terse and vigorous and wonderfully compre- 
hensive words had also dictated the translation, giving us 
the benefit of his infinite skill in the choice of words and 
phrases in our language best adapted to express the exact 
thought of the original, what a remarkable book this, our 
Bible, would be ! Every word chosen in infinite wisdom; 
every phrase and sentence an exact reflection of God's 
thought ! 


Well, now, if I understand it, this is precisely what 
our friends claim for the Book of Mormon. Both the 
original composition and the translation were under the 
constant direction of the Holy Spirit. We have a right, 
therefore, have we not? to expect and demand a remark- 
able book ; a book whose every sentence shall reveal in 
the most unmistakable manner the divine finger marks. 

With this, therefore, in mind, let us turn to the Book 
of Mormon and read a few selections. It scarcely matters 
where we open the book. Here, for instance, is a selec- 
tion from a sermon, or address of king Benjamin, one 
of the most earnest and d evout characters appearing in 
the book, who declares, too, that the things * 'which I shall 
tell you are made known unto me by an angel from 
Godr — Page 150. And again, next page, *'And now I 
have spoken the words which the Lord God hath com- 
manded me ;" and, still again repeated, ''It came to pass 
when king Benjamin had made an end of speaking the 
words which had been delivered unto hint by the angel of 
the Lord,'' With this very clear and oft repeated claim 
to inspiration, even to the selection of the words he uses, 
let me read you a few sentences, Book of Mosiah, 2: 2: 

"And king Benjamin again opened his mouth, and be- 
gan to speak unto them, saying, my friends and my brethren, 
my kindred and my people, I would again call your attention, 
that ye may hear and understand the remainder of my words 
which I shall speak unto you; for behold, if the knowledge of 
the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense 
of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state;" — 

As I read, I desire you will constantly challenge 
each statement or sentence with this question: What is 
there about this sentence that requires extraordinary help 
from God. It is good, perhaps very good, but did the 
author need any special help from an angel to say it? 


"I say unto you, if ye have come to a knowledge of the 
goodness of God, and his matchless power, and his wisdom, 
and his patience, and his long suffering towards the children 
of men, and also, the atonement which has been prepared 
from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might 
come to him that put his trust in the Lord, and should be dil- 
igent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith 
even unto the end of his life; I mean the life of the mortal body ; 
I say, that this is the man who receiveth salvation, through 
the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of 
the world for all mankind, which ever were, ever since the 
fall of Adam, or who are or who ever shall be, even unto the 
end of the world; and this is the means whereby salvation 
Cometh. And there is none other salvation save this which 
hath been spoken of; neither are there any conditions where- 
by man can be saved, except the conditions which I have told 
you." ■ 

I ask again, friends, did die author need any special 
help from God to say any part of the above? Have you not 
heard preachers, by the hundred, in your day talk just 
like that, and, too, without any special assistance from 
an angel? 

"And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as 
ye have come to the knowledere of the glory of God, or if ye 
have known of his goodness, and have tasted of his love, and 
have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such ex- 
ceeding great joy in y®ur souls, even so I would that ye should 
remember, and always retain in remembrance the great- 
ness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness 
and long suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and hum- 
ble yourselves in the depths of humility, calling on the name 
of the Lord daily, and standing steadfast in the faith of that 
which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the 
angel; and behold, I say unto you, that if ye do this, ye shall 
always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in 
the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the 
knowledge of that which is just and true, 

*'And again it is expedient that he should be diligent, 
that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things 
must be done in order. And I would that ye should remem- 
ber, that whosoever among you borroweth of his neighbor, 
should return the thing that he borroweth, according as he 
doth agree, or else thou shalt commit sin, and perhaps thou 
shalt cause thy neighbor to commit sin also. And finally, I 


cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; 
for there are divers ways and means, even so many that T can- 
not number them."— Sections 3 and 5. 

Can you explain, friends, how God's help could be 
required in saying that? It is good practical sense, the 
most of it, though expressed in homely phrase and in 
loosely constructed sentences that any person in this con- 
gregation could at least equal without any help what- 
ever from an angel of God. 

But now, in contrast with this, please turn back and 
read with me on page 94, Second Nephi, 10: 7, a quo- 
tation from the prophet Isaiah in our Bible: 

"Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of 
him that smote thee is broken, for out of the serpent's root 
shall come forth a cocatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery 
flying serpent/* 

You have to stop at once; cannot take it all in at a 
superficial reading. Careful study is required. What 
do these expressions mean? Who or what is meant by 
the "serpent's root?" And how from such parent- 
age can there come forth a cocatrice? And by what law 
of hereditary or natural selection shall the fruitage of the 
cocatrice be a "fiery flying serpent?" These words are 
evidently chosen, like Daniel's beasts, to represent char- 
acter, human character and human action, and human 
destiny. A chance for study, surely. No human intel- 
lect is sharp enough and comprehensive enough to take 
in the full meaning of this one sentence at a single read- 

And the same is true of the balance of the para- 

"And the first born of the poor shall feed, and the needy 
shall lie down in safety; and I will kill the root with famine, 
and he shall slay thy remnant. Howl, O gate; cry, O city; 


thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come 
from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his ap- 
pointed times " 

Do you notice any loosely constructed sentences, 
any useless verbiage in the above paragraph? 

Perhaps you say this a peculiar passage, hard to 
understand. Then turn back to an easy one, page 71, 
Second Nephi, 5: 1 1, also quoted from Isaiah the prophet: 

Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy 
beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city, for henceforth 
there shall no more come into thee, the uncircumcised and 
the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, 
O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bonds of thy neck, O 
captive daughter of Zion." 

Now, while it is apparently easy to understand this, 
for a rich thought lies right upon the surface, yet, when 
you attempt to tell what it means, and all it means, how 
it grows upon you! How immense it becomes! It 
proves a rich mine of thought, the deeper down you 
dig the richer it becomes and the more of it. 

Take a still simpler and plainer passage, the First 
Psalm : 

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the council of 
the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth 
in the seat of the scornful. 

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his 
law doth he meditate day and night. 

"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of 
water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf 
also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 

"The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which 
the wind drive th away." 

Friends, is it not easy enough to see, that though 
so plain and simple, yet a volume of meaning is 
crowded into these words? Every verse is a text, 
from which a valuable sermon could easily be preached. 
No awkward, blundering sentences; no superficial, un- 


hecessary roundabout phrases that require an apology 
for their existence. Every sentence ''strikes oil;" every 
word has a meaning and is needed; every statement has 
*'a volume*' in it. 

If you turn over to the New Testament, what could 
be plainer or simpler, or more beautifully expressed than 
Christ's sermon on the mount? And yet you have to 
stop at every sentence, not because it is difficult to under- 
stand, but because you discover a mine of gold in it that 
is not exhausted by a few moments, or even a few hours 
study and research. And the same thing is true of all 
his * sermons and addresses and parables. What can 
equal in sublimity and beauty and pathos, and yet in 
real simplicity and naturalness, the Fifteenth Chapter of 
Luke, containing the parables of the lost sheep, the lost 
piece of money and the prodigal son? An inexhaustible 
storehouse of wealth, that all the study of the ages has 
neither diminished nor rendered stale. 

Read over Jesus' incomparable address to his dis- 
ciples, on the eve of his apprehension and crucifixion, as 
recorded in the Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth 
Chapters of John. Every sentence has the stamp of 
divinity upon it. Spoken by lips that "spake as never 
man spake." Dissect carefully that address, and find 
anywhere in it the word, or the phrase, or the sentence 
that is either unnecessary, useless or foolish; find one 
line that you can improve, or that you can in any way 
equal; find a single sentence that does not fairly bristle 
all over with the divine heart and the infinite wisdom 
that prompted it: 

"Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, be- 
lieve also in me. 

"In my father's house are many mansions. I go to pre- 
pare a place for you. 


"I am the true vine, and my father is the husbandman, 

**Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh 
away, and every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it, that 
it may bring forth more fruit. 

"Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken 
unto you. 

"Abide in me and I in you," etc., etc. 

Could any merely human lips ever have given ut- 
terance to such words as these? 

Let me read you one more selection from the Book 
of Mormon, page 305, Alma 16, 28: 

"Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that 
ye may begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have 
mercy upon you; yea, cry unto him for mercy for he is mighty 
to save; yea, humble yourselves and continue in prayer unto 
him; cry unto him when ye are in your fields; yea, over all 
your flocks : cry unto him in your houses, yea over all your 
household, both morning, mid -day and evening; yea, cry un- 
to him against the power of your enemies; yea, cry unto him 
against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness. Cry 
unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in 
them; cry over the flocks of your fields that they may increase. 
But this is not all ; ye must pour out your souls in your clos- 
ets and your secret places, and in your wilderness ; yea, and 
when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, 
drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, 
and also for the welfare of those who are around you." 

Friends, I have purposely read you one of the very 
best specimens to be found anywhere in the Book of 
Mormon, and have selected it because I wish frankly and 
freely to acknowledge that in many of the addresses and 
the exhortations scattered through the Book of Mormon, 
you may find good, sound, practical truths expressed, 
truths that will do you good and make your hfe 
better, if you can forgive the awkward, bungling man- 
ner in which they are usually expressed. And yet, if 
you closely scan any one of these earnest and practical 
addresses, you will find-that nearly all that is valuable, 
or practicable, or beautiful in them is borrowed from 


the Bible. If you should strip ^hem of all Biblical 
phraseology or Biblical thoughts, the refuse that is left 
would appear exceedingly human, never rising higher 
than the capacity of an ordinary man; a very ordinary 
man. There is not a passage in the book thus stripped 
of borrowed divinity that can at all equal in beauty, and 
power, and crispness, and elegance, the sentences or the 
thoughts of a multitude of human writers of the present 
day. How almost infinitely, then, do they fall below the 
character and the style of the sacred writers. Dear 
friends, to suppose that the great God would take the 
trouble to send an angel down from heaven to help any 
man of ordinary sense compose such sentences as these 
would be a repetition of the old fable, a mountain labor- 
ing to bring forth a mouse ! And if the angel did come 
to help, and accomplish no more than this, he should 
forever hide his face in shame. 

Perhaps you can see this point more clearly, if I 
read you a few specimens from what purports to be 
Jesus' own words. The book tells us, you remember, 
that Jesus, a few days after his ascension, as recorded in 
the New Testament, appeared here in this country and 
spent some forty days with his people, performing 
miracles and preaching to them the gospel of the king- 
dom. A goodly portion of his addresses are made up 
of the sermons on the mount, and various other selections 
from the four Gospels. But he throws in a great many 
other words. And friends, permit me to show you how 
vast the chasm between what he said here in this 
country and what he said in the Land of Judea, as to its 
style, its general character, especially in the one point, 
its terseness and comprehensiveness — the ability to 
** strike twelve*' every time he utters a word. 


*And while I read these specimens, please don*t 
forget that the words repeated from his Judean life are in 
every instance quoted verbatim from our present English 
version, the King James' translation, which is supposed 
to be quite faulty; whereas the words he uttered here in 
this country are translated by the help of an angel, and 
therefore, of course, come to us pure from the ancient 

The first selection is a single sentence, a rather long 
one, and somewhat mixed in its construction, but never- 
theless is recorded as an actual speech from the lips of 
him who spake as never man spake, page 477, Nephi 
9, 11: 

"And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you 
for a sign, for verily I say unto you, that when these things 
which I declare unto you and which I shall declare unto you 
hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost, 
which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made 
known unto the Gentiles, that they may know concerning 
this people, who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and con- 
cerning this my people, who shall be scattered by them; verily, 
verily I say unto you, when these things shall be made known 
unto them of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, 
from them unto you, for it is wisdom in the Father that they 
should be established in this land, and be set up as a free peo- 
ple by the power of the Father, that these things might come 
forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the coven- 
ant of the Father may be fulfilled which he has covenanted 
with his people, O house of Israel; therefore, when these 
works,and the works which shall be wrought among you here- 
after, shall come forth from the Gentiles unto your seed, 
which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity ; for thus 
it behoveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gen- 
tiles, that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles, for 
this cause, that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their 
hearts, that they may repent and come unto me, and be bap- 
tized in my name, and know of the true points of my doc- 
trine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house 
of Israel; and when these things come to pass, that thy seed 
shall begin to know these things, it shall be a sign unto them, 
that they may know that the work of the Father hath already 


commenced, unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he 
hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel." 

This sentence contains over 340 words. The words 
**that" and ''which" are repeated twenty times; the 
words ''I," ''my" and "me," eleven times; the word 
Father, eight times; Gentiles, five times; the expres- 
sion, "shall come forth," four times. All this in one 
sentence.* A very remarkable sentence surely. 

I find upon examination that in Christ's sermon on 
the mount, beginning at the first sentence, 340 words 
include eighteen complete sentences, an average of nine- 
teen words to the sentence. All Jesus' sentences found 
in the New Testament are short and incisive. The 
longest one I have been able to find is this one: 

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt love 
thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy: but I say unto you, love 
your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them 
that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you 
and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your 
Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on 
the evil and on the good; and sendeth rain on the just and 
on the unjust." 

A very comprehensive, clear-cut sentence. No 
bungling, mixed up affair. How differently it sounds 
from the above bewildering mass of 340 words. Friends, 
can you believe Jesus was really the author of that long 
sentence? Does it sound like him? Can you find any- 
thing in the entire four Gospels that looks like it, that 
bears any resemblance whatever to it? Is it, as a sen- 
tence, the " forty-secondth cousin" ol anything found 
in the four Gospels? 

The second selection is from page 482, Nephi 11, i: 

"And it came to pass that when Jesus had expounded 
all the scriptures in one which they had written, he com- 
manded them that they should teach the things which he had 
expounded unto them. And it came to pass that he com- 


manded them that they should write the words which the 
father had given uDto Maiachi, which he should tell unto 
them. And it came to pass that after they were written, he 
expounded them. And these are the words which he did tell 
unto them, saying, thus said the Father unto Maiachi," 

Now, mark you, what a wondrous transition from 
the above blundering, awkward narrative, to the majes- 
tic, subHme, and yet smooth and beautiful sentences that 
follow, quoted from the Bible: 

"Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare 
the way before me, and the Lord whom ye seek shall sudden- 
ly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, 
whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, s^ith the Lord of 
Hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who 
shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire 
and like f aller's soap. And he shall sit as a refiner and puri- 
fier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge 
them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord 
an offering in righteousness." 

Once more, please turn to page 485, Nephi 12, 3: 

**And Jesus again showed himself unto them, for they 
, were praying unto the Father, in his name; and Jesus came 
and stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, what 
will ye that I shall give unto you ? And they said unto him. 
Lord, we will that thou wouldst tell us the name whereby 
we shall call this church; for there are disputations among 
the people concerning this matter. And the Lord said unto 
them, verily, verily, I say unto you, why is it the people 
should murmur and dispute because of this thing? have they 
not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the 
name of Christ, which is my name ?* for by this name shall 

*lt is evident the Jesus who said this was a very ig^norant man, and not the 
Jesus of the Gospels. "And she shall bring- forth a son and they shall call his 
name Jesus : for he shall save his people from their sins. And he called his 
name Jesus." — Mathew i: 21, 25. "And when eight days were accomplished 
for the circumcising o f the child, his name whs called Jesus, which 
was so named of the ang-el before he was conceived in the womb." — 
Luke 2:21. The word ''Christ" was not his name at all. It desig-nated his 
office, "the Annointed One," "Jesus the Christ;" "Jesus the Annointed One," 
was the proper designation. Throughout the four Gospels, he is uniformly called 
Jesus. Wherever the word Christ occurs it was preceded by the emphatic ar- 
ticle the in the Greek languag-e, as in Matt. 16, 16. By frequent use, however, 
the article was after a while omitted, so that in the Epistles we find the two 
words associated tog-ether, Jesus Christ. The article, however, is always un- 
derstood. So that his name was not "Christ," nor yet "Jesus Christ." It was 
simply Jesus. Hence, the author of the above unintentional fib could neither 
have been the Lord Jesus himself, nor any one inspired by his Spirit. 


ye be called at the last day; and whoso taketh upon him my 
name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved 
at the last day; therefore whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do 
it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; 
and ye shall call upon the Father in my name, that he will 
bless the church for my sake: and how be it my church, save 
it be called in my name? for if a church be called in Moses' 
name, then it be Moses' church: or if it be called in the name 
of a man, then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in 
my name, then it is my church, if it so be that they are built 
upon my Gospel. Verily I say unto you that ye are built up- 
on my Gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do 
in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the 
church, if it be in my name, the Father will hear you; and if 
it so be that the church is built upon my gospel, then will 
the Father show forth his own works in it; but if it be not 
built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or 
upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you, they have 
joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh 
and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence 
there is no return; for their works do follow them, for it is 
because of their works that they are hewn down; therefore 
remember the things that I have told you." 

Is there one before me to-night who can believe 
that such blundering sentences and worse than blunder- 
ing statements, such puerile, shallow stuff, came from the 
lips of the Son of God, the man who spake as never 
man spake? 

Bear with me once more, while I present another 
contrast, and I will not even stop to point out to you 
the place in the following quotation where the transition 
occurs between Jesus' words, as quoted from Isaiah the 
prophet, and Jesus' words as they profess to have come 
from his own hps, while here in this country. I think 
you will have no difficulty in deciding where the change 
occurs from the grand, lofty, sublime thought of the 
prophet Isaiah, to the coarse, awkward, bungling, 
mixed up sentences that are charged to our divine Lord. 

I read from pages 480-1, Nephi 10, 2: 

"O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and net comfort- 
ed ! behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy 


foundation with sapphires. And I will make thy windows 
of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of 
pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the 
Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In 
righteousness shalt thou be established; thou shalt be far 
from oppression, for thou shalt not fear, and from terror, for 
it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather 
together against thee, not by me; whosoever shall gather to- 
gether against thee shall fall for thy sake. Behold, I have 
created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that 
bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created 
the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee 
shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee 
in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of 
the servants of the Liord, and their righteousness is of me, 
saith the Lord. And now behold I say unto you, that ye had 
ought to search these things diligently ; for great are the words 
of Isaiah. For surely he spake as touching all things con- 
cerning my people which are of the house of Israel; therefore it 
must needs be that he must speak also unto the Gentiles. And 
all things that he spake hath been and shall be, even accord- 
ing to the words which he spake. Therefore give heed to 
my words, write the things which I have told you; and ac 
cording to the time and the will of the Father, they shall go 
forth unto the Gentiles," 

And now, at this stage in the discussion, permit me 
to read you a passage where the poor man Nephi is 
made to give himself entirely away, so far as being in- 
spired by the Holy Spirit or helped by an angel of God 
to write the book of Nephi. He forgets a very import- 
ant matter of record; leaves out of his book an im- 
portant fact that should have gone in it. — Page 481, 
Nephi 10, 3: 

*' And now it came to pass that when Jesus had said these 
words, he said unto them again, after he had expounded all 
the scriptures unto them which they had received, he said 
unto them, behold, other scriptures I would that ye should 
write, that ye have not. And it came to pass that he said 
unto Nephi, bring forth the record which ye have kept. And 
when Nephi had brought forth the records, and laid them 
before him, he cast his eyes upon them and said, verily I say 
unto you, I commanded my servant Samuel, the Lamanite, 
that he should testify unto this people, that at the day the 
Father should glorify his name in me, that there were many 


saints who should arise from the dead, and should appear 
unto many, and should minister unto them. And he said 
unto them, were it not so ? And his disciples answered him 
and said, yea, Lord, Samuel did prophesy according to thy 
words, and they were all fulfilled. A nd Jesus said unto them, 
how be it that ye have not written this thing, that many 
saints did arise and appear unto many, and did minister unto 
them? And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that 
this thing had not been written And it came to pass that 
Jesus commanded that it should be written; therefore it was 
written as he commanded." 

You readily see how it is. Jesus, in glancing over 
Nephi's record, discovers an important omission, and 
chides Nephi for his neglect. Nephi acknowledges the 
omission ; and now, at the command of Jesus, inserts 
the omitted matter in at this place, entirely out of its 
proper connection. Now, was Nephi under the inspira- 
tion of the Holy Spirit or assisted by an angel from 
heaven when he made such a blunder as this in keeping 
his record ? Is a patched up record inspired of God ? 
If an angel comes all the way from heaven to help, it 
should have been an intelligent angel, blessed with a 
good memory, or he could have been of no particular 
advantage to Nephi. 

But there are other proofs that this book must be a 
human production, that God could have had no hand 
whatever in its preparation, aside from the style in which 
it is written, and the blunder in the record just consid- 

I ask your indulgence a few moments more, while 
I mention one other point. There are throughout the 
Book of Mormon numberless exhibitions of human 
weakness, altogether inconsistent with the supposition 
that it came from God. 


For instance, each author is in the main the hero 

of his own story. Permit me to read you the opening 

sentence in the book, and simply call your attention to 

the fact that the words ''V and ''my" occur sixteen 

times in this opening statement: 

"I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore 
I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and 
having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, never- 
theless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my 
days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and 
mysteries of God, therefore, I make a record of my proceed- 
ings in my days; yea, I make a record in the language of my 
father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the 
language of the Egyptians. And I know that the record 
which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; 
and I make it according to my knowledge." 

For a specimen of real simon-pure conceit, read 

on next page, section 7: 

*'And now I, Nephi, do not make a full account of the 
things which my father hath written, for he hath written 
many things which he saw in visions and in dreams; and he 
also hath written many things which he prophesied and 
spake unto his children of which I shall not make a full ac- 
count, but I shall make an account of my proceedings in my 
days. Behold, I make an abridgment of the record of my 
father, upon plates which I have made with my own hands; 
wherefore, after I have abridged the record of my father, then 
will I make an account of mine own life.'' 

The second author, Jacob, begins his book thus, 

p. 114: 

* * * "And he (Nephi) gave me, Jacob, a command- 
ment that I should write upon these plates a few things which 
I considered to be most precious: that I should not touch, 
save it were lightly, concerning the history of this people 
which are called the people of Nephi. For he said that the 
history of his people should be engraven upon his other 
plates and that I should preserve these plates and hand them 
down unto my seed, from generation to generation. And if 
there were preaching which was sacred, or revelation which 
was great, or prophesying, that I should engraven the heads 
of them upon these plates, and touch upon them as much as 
it were possible. * ♦ * And we also had many revelations, 
and the spirit of much prophesy." 


The third author, Enos, begins his book by com- 
plimenting his lather, Jacob, — a back -handed way of 
boasting over his own inherited good quaHties, and the 
excellent training he had received — and then occupies a 
considerable space with an account of his own conversion, 
written in first-class modern revival style. While the 
fourth author, Jarom, modestly hints that the things he 
proposes to write are as nothing, compared with the 
things he had publicly taught and that had been reveal- 
ed to him. And, in fact, this appears to be character- 
istic of nearly every author in the Book of Mormon, 
the modest boast, though, every little while repeated : 

"I ODly record a very few of the remarkable revelations 
I have received, or of the remarkable deeds that have been 
accomplished through my leadership and inspiration." 

Strikingly in contrast, this, with the authors of the var- 
ious books of the Bible. The first book. Genesis, begins 

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the 

And we look at the close of the book, examine every 
page of it, in vain, to find even a hint as to who was its 
author. So with Exodus and Leviticus and Numbers ; in 
fact, we have to read throughover one half the entire Old 
Testament, embracing fifteen books, before we have so 
much as a hint of the authorship. The book of Ne- 
hemiah opens with this brief and modest title: 
"The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah." 

Then, we p?.ss the books of Esther, Job and the Psalms 
without the names of the authors. The Book of Pro- 
verbs has this preface : 

**The Proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, King of 


The various prophets are under a necessity, from the 
very character of their work, of revealing their names. 
But, it is done in the same, modest, simple way: 

"The vision ef Isaiah, the son of Amos, which he saw 
concerning Judah and Jerusalem." 

"The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, of the priests 
that were in Anathoth." 

"The words of the Lord that came unto Hosea.'' 

"The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of 

"The words of Amos, who was amoog the herdmen of 

And so with every one of the prophets. The open- 
ing sentence tells who is its author, but always in the 
third person, with the single exception of Ezekiel, who 
begins his prophesy in the first person. 

If we examine the New Testament, we find Matthew 
begins thus : 

"The book of the generations of Jesus Christ, the son of 
David, the son of Abraham." 

Mark, thus: 

"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the son of 

John, thus : 

"In the beginning was the word, and the word was with 
God, and the word was God." 

Luke is the only one of the four Evangelists who 
furnishes us anything like 2, personal mXxoA\XQX\ori. And 
yet he entirely witholds his own name. The same with 
the Book of Acts. In fact we only learn from the early 
history of the church, entirely outside of the New 
Testament writers, who wrote either one of these five 

With the Epistles it is, of course, different. They 
were private and personal affairs, addressed to individ- 


uals, as Timothy, Titus, &c., or they were addressed to 
particular churches and required the signature of the 
writer to give them value and authority at the time they 
were written. And yet one of the most important of the 
Epistles, the Book of Hebrews, remains incognito to this 
day, the best scholarship of the world being divided as 
to its real author. And not one of the authors becomes 
the hero of his own story, until we come to the 
prophets, who, in the most delicate way, with a modesty 
that has not the remotest suspicion of egotism, speak of 
themselves only when the necessities of the narrative 
requires such mention, as in the case of Isaiah, Jeremiah, 
Ezekiel and Daniel. Only one solitary author in the 
entire Bible makes a boast, or even mentions in any 
way whatever, the abundance of his revelations. And 
that is the Apostle Paul. And he was obliged to do it 
in vindication of the gospel he had preached, but 
apologizes in the most earnest and emphatic way for the 
necessity of thus making a fool of himself , as he calls it. 
'*I am become a fool in glorying," he says to the Cor- 
inthians ; ' ^ ye have compelled me. ' ' 

And do you know, friends, this is the w^ay God has 
always wrought in nature? This world of ours is a 
wonderful world, crowded full of God's handiwork. 
Every grain of sand in it, every drop of water, every 
blade of grass, every shrub and flower, as well as every 
living thing that swims in its waters, or creeps upon its 
surface, or flies in its air, is full of proof — **the hand that 
made me is divine.'' 

But now, friends, would not it seem a little strange, 
and somewhat out of keeping wdth the dignity and glory 
of the divine character, if God should attach a label to 
each separate article in nature, saying, '*I made this." 


If over each one of these beautiful shade trees were 
written, "This is my work/' or suspended over every 
garden spot, or bed of flowers, or grassy meadow, in 
golden letters, *'I, the Lord, did this;" or, if he should 
come down from heaven every evening in a cloud, and 
proclaim in thunder tones, that every one might hear, 
*^A11 the blessings you have enjoyed to-day came from 
my hand." Surely this is not needful, friends, so long 
as the proofs of his handiwork lie all about us in such 
rich abundance. 

Nor is it necessary for him to attach to the book of 
Genesis, or the book of Matthew, or John, or Hebrews, 
any affidavit whatever as to their inspired origin. Every 
page proclaims, **The brain that dictated this was an 
inspired brain." The necessity therefor that requires 
the various authors of the Book of Mormon to assert so 
frequently their divine inspiration, and parade upon 
almost every second or third page the abundance of 
their revelations, is a confession of weakness, to say the 
least, and suggests the suspicion that the author fears 
you may not find out the divine origin of his plates 
unless he keeps reiterating the fact — the sad necessity of 
the young painter, you remember, whose first attempt 
at painting proved so far a failure that he was obliged 
to write underneath his picture, ' ' This is a horse/' ' 

The next lecture will show that the Book of Mormon 
is wholly a modern composition, and therefore not at all 
what it professes to be. 


"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are 
your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my 
ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your 
thoughts." — Isaiah 55, 8-9. 

The other day, a neighbor of mine was examininj' 
somewhat minutely a few of the wormSy or caterpillar-^ 
with which out city is infested. Calling my attention to 
them, I discovered tor the first time, that they were not 
the muddy, dirty-looking, ugly creatures I had supposed. 
A close inspection revealed the fact that they were really 
beautiful; that an exquisite taste had been displayed in the 
various colors employed, their skillful blending, and th( 
delicateness and perfection of their tints, and especialh 
in the strange and endless variety exhibited. Really, 
you could find no two exactly alike. 

And then there suddenly flashed upon me a fact 1 
was taught when a school-boy, that there are no two 
objects in nature exactly alike ; infinite variety and not 
sameness is the rule. And I recall hours spent with 
brothers and sisters in the old home garden, examinini: 
a large bed of ' 'ribbon grass'' to test the theory. There 
were only a few colored lines on each blade of grass, bu' 
they were always arranged differently, so that we never 
found two exactly alike. Extending our observ^ation , 
we patiently examined hundreds and thousands of clover 


leaves, the leaves upon the apple trees, and the leaves 
upon the small oak saplings, growing in a neighboring 
pasture, and always with the same result; no two alike. 
We all know that there are no two human faces just 
alike, no two human characters alike. All possess the 
$ame contour of face, the same faculties, passions and 
attributes; but the varieties of development are appar- 
ently infinite, so that, probably, no two persons have 
ever lived, or ever will live, who look and act and are 
exactly alike. And it is said that the same law of infi- 
nite variety extends even to the minutest animacule that 
appears in a drop of water, and lives but a brief day ; to 
every grain of sand upon the sea shore; in fact, as some 
believe, to every ultimate, minute particle of matter of 
which our earth is composed. 

And, friends, this endless variety, exhibited every- 
where in nature, affording us such clear proof of the 
limitless, the unbounded resources of the great Creator, 
is found just as clearly marked in the Bible. There are 
certain great lines of truth distinctly and clearly re- 
vealed to us; but the unfolding of these great lines of 
truth is almost infinitely varied. So that there are, prop- 
erlyspeaking, no repetitions in the Bible. There are repe- 
titions of questions and commands for the sake of 
added emphasis; sometimes of words and phrases re- 
quired by the bold and vigorous and animated style of 
the Holy Scriptures; yet, properly speaking, the Bible 
does not repeat itself The New Testament does not 
repeat the Old Testament; none of the later books re- 
peat from the earlier books. There is one single instance 
in the Old Testament where one short chapter is repeat- 
ed word for word in two different books. Why, we do 
not know. Probably, two different authors, in making 


a record or compiling a history of the same person- 
ages, had access to the same original document and 
quoted them alike. In the New Testament, three diff- 
erent men, Matthew, Mark and Luke, furnish a history 
of the life of Christ. They write entirely independent 
of each other, in separate portions of the world, for en- 
tirely different classes of people, and evidently without 
any knowledge of each others work; and, as might be 
expected, when recording the same event, mention the 
very same particulars, the prominent points in the event 
they narrate. But, they scarcely ever do it in the same 
words. Each presents the fact from his own standpoint; 
and, hence, exhibits a different phase from the other, 
keeping up a constant freshness and variety. Even in 
the large number of quotations found in the New Test- 
ament from the Old, the language is so varied as to pre- 
sent a new side to the old truth, giving you a view of it 
that you had not been able to discover from the Old 
Testament reading. And, the quotations from the Old 
Testament found in the New are exceedingly brief; the 
longest one is in Rom. 3, quoted from the Psalms, to 
prove that * 'there is none righteous." And this quota- 
tion embraces only three brief sentences, making in all 
eight or ten lines on a printed page like this. 

If it had been different, ifone prophet had quoted large 
portions of a previous prophet's words, if the New Testa- 
ment writers had borrowed whole chapters from the Old 
Testament prophets and made up their addresses chiefly 
in this way, we would at once have felt, * 'Something is 
out of joint: the God of nature and the God of the Bible 
seem to proceed differently. And, has God really ex- 
hausted his resources in the Old Testament revelations, 
that he must needs repeat himself thus? Has he nothing 


new to tell us? not even a new way of presenting the 
old thoughts?" 

Well, now, friends, the Book of Mormon has this 
very serious objection to its divinity: It is not original 
enough to have come from God. It is made up largely 
of borrowed material. Outside of the mere frame work 
of the book, its thread of history, the filling in is largely 
borrowed. I mean the religious part of the book; its 
sermons, exhortations and addresses are either repeti- 
tions of the exact language of the Bible, or they are 
constructed as gospel sermons of the present day are 
constructed, filled in with a large amount of Bible 
phraseology, Bible allusions, illustrations, etc. 

For instance, I find that the Lord Jesus, when he 
first appeared to the Nephites, as recorded in the fifth 
chapter of III Nephi, after saying a few words (more 
than one half of which are selections* from his various 
words as recorded in the four Gospels), began to repeat 
the Sermon on the Mount, as recorded by Matthew in 
the 5th, 6th and 7th chapters, and repeated the entire 
sermon word for word. Then followed this, with about 
as much more material filled in constantly with short 
phrases or whole sentences taken from other portions of 
the Bible. When he came back the second time and 
addressed them at some length, he quotes verbatim 
nearly two whole chapters from the book of Isaiah, and 
closes up his speech with a repetition of the two last 
chapters of the Book of Malachi. 

*The following- is a specimen. The borrowed v^orA^ and phrases are in 
italics, (See III Nephi, 5, 9.) : "And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and 
he baptized in my name, and become as a little child, ox ye can in nowise inherit 
the kinordom of God. Verily, verily I say unto you, thai this is my doctrine, 
and whoso buildeth upon thus, buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall 
not prevail against them. And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and 
cstxhXxsh. it ior my diOctT\ne, the same Cometh of evil, 2indi is not built upon my 
rock, but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell standeth 
open to receive such, when the j^oods come and the winds beat upon them. 


I find in the second book of Nephi, beginning with 
the eighth chapter, the author quotes from Isaiah, the 
prophet, and fills up sixteen full pages, transcribing the 
greater part of the first fourteen chapters of Isaiah's 
prophecy. Nearly the whole of Isaiah, and occasional 
selections from the other prophets, are thus incorporated 
into the Book of Mormon, with the major portion of 
Christ's words as found in the four evangelists, and a 
generous sprinkling from all the epistles and the Book of 

It is no excuse for this lack of originality and con- 
stant repetition of the Bible, that, while it was not new 
to nsjtwas new to the people in this country who heard it. 
There could have been no possible objection to having 
those old sermons and addresses filled up with Bible quo- 
tations for the benefit of those who listened to them; but, 
such quotations should have been left out of a record that 
was kept for us who already possess the Bible. And, that 
ancient record, as is frequently asserted, was made for 
us exclusively, and not for the people then living. They 
had nothing whatever to do with the plates from which 
the Book of Mormon was translated; in fact, never saw 
them,^ They were prepared and preserved for our bene- 

It is understood that the entire Book of Mormon, except the last fifty 
Pag-es, was written by one Mormon, who lived just at the close of the Nephite 
history; was commander-in-chief of the Nephite forces in that terrible battle 
that swept the Nephite nation out of existence in the year 3S4 after Christ. 
The plntes of the elder Nephi, his brother Jacob, and all their successors in 
office for nearly a thousand years, came into th** hands ot Mormon, |and he madg 
an abridgement in his own language^ and then turned this abridi?einent over to 
the safe keeping- of his son Moroni, who completes the record rnd hides it in 
the hill Cumorah to be found bv Joseph Smith in our day. Mormon's plain 
statement is (See pages 141-2, "Words of Mormon," sec. 2-3-4.): "For after 
I had made an abridgement horn the plates of Nephi down to the reig-n of this 
king Benjamin * * * And now I, Mormon, proceed to finish out my record, 
which I take from the plates of Nephi; and I make it according to the knowl- 
edge and the understanding which God has given me * * * and I cannot 
write the hundredth part of the things of my people." 

The plates, then, found by Joseph Smith, and from which this Book of 
Mormon was translated, are not the original records kept by the various kings 
and prophets, but an abridgement, and a very brief one, made by Mormon; 
and were never seen, except by the son Moroni, until they came into Joseph 
Smith's hands. 


fit alone. And it is altogether a work of supererogation 
to furnish us the same message twice over. Jesus said a 
thousand things that are not left on record for us^ and 
so did Paul and the other apostles, and undoubtedly, 
in their preaching, often quoted largely from the Old 
Testament, very likely whole chapters at a time. But 
such sermons and such quotations were not left on record 
for us, because we have all such passages already in the 
Old Testament, and God never does unnecessary things. 

We must, therefore, conclude that at least so much 
of these plates as contain such large repetitions of the Old 
and New Testaments cannot have been recorded at the 
command of God for our benefit, unless he would do in 
this country what he never would do in the old* 

But aside from these direct quotations from the Bible, 
there are found many Bible passages with variations in 
the way of attempted iniprove^nents^ or embellishTnents. 
Let me read you an illustration. — Page 454, Nephi 4: 10: 

"And it came to pass that there came a voice again unto 
the people, and all the people did hear, and did witness of it, 
sayiag, O ye neople of these great cities which have fallen, who 
are descendants of Jacob, yea, who are of the house of Israel, 
how oft have I gathered you as a hen gathers her chickens 
under her wings, and have nourished you. And again, how 
oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chick- 
ens under her wings; yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, 
who have fallen; yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, ye 
that dwell at Jerusalem, as ye that have fallen; yea, how oft 
would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, 
and ye would not. O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, 
how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens 
under her wings if ye will repent and turn unto me with full 
purpose of heart. But if not, O house of Israel, the places of 
your dwelling shall become desolate until the time of the ful- 
filling of the covenant to your fathers." 

One of the most beautiful incidents recorded in the 
New Testament, Christ blessing littie children, (see Mat- 
thew, 19, 13-15,) occupying three short verses, is in this 


way embellished and improved upon until it has the ap- 
pearance of an exhibition gotten up for a show; is un- 
natural and distorted, and thoroughly at variance with 
the beautiful simplicity of our Savior's character. — 
Page 468, Nephi, 8: 4,5: 

"And it came to pass that he commanded that their 
little children should be brought. So they brought their 
little children and set them down upon the ground round 
about him, and Jesus stood in the midst; aud the multitude 
gave way till they all had been brought unto him. And it came 
to pass that when they had all been brought, and Jesus stood 
in the midst, he commanded the multitude that they should 
kneel down upon the ground. And it came to pass that 
when they had knelt upon the ground, Jesus groaned 
within himself, and saith, Father, I am troubled because of 
the wickedness of the people of the house of Israel. And 
when he had said these words, he himself also knelt 
upon the earth; and behold he prayed unto the Father, and 
the things which he prayed cannot be written, and the mul- 
titude did bear record who heard him. And after this man- 
ner do they bear record : the eye hath never seen, neither 
hath the ear heard, before, so great and marvelous things as 
we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father; and no 
tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, 
neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvel- 
ous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one 
can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we 
heard him pray for us unto the Father. 

"And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end 
of praying unto the Father, he arose; but so great was the 
joy of the multitude that they were overcome. And it came 
to pass that Jesus spake unto them and bade them arise. 
And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them, blessed 
are ye because of your faith. And now behold my joy is full. 
And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multi- 
tude bear record of it, and he took their little children, one 
by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for 
them. And when he had done this he wept again, and he 
spake unto the multitude, and saith unto them, behold your 
little ones. And as they looked to behold, they cast their 
eyes toward heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they 
saw angels descending out of heaven as it were, in the midst 
of fire, and they came down and encircled those little ones 
about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the 
angels did minister unto them, and the multitude did 
see and hear and bear record; and they knew that their 


record is true; for they all of them did see and hear 
every man for himself; and they were in number about two 
thousand and five hundred souls; and they did consist of 
men, women and children." 

Just previous to this, in the presence of the same 
congregation of 2500, we have another little New Test- 
ament incident embellished and improved upon until it 
amounts to little less than a travesty or burlesque. In 
Jno. 20: 27, the doubting Thomas is permitted to feel the 
print of the nails in the risen Savior's hands, and to 
thrust his hand into the sword wound in the side, to 
strengthen his wavering faith in his risen Lord. But 
now, read page 456, Nephi 5: 6, 7: 

"And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them, say- 
ing, arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your 
hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the 
nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I 
am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and 
have been slain for the sins of the world. 

"And it came to pass that the multitude went forth and 
thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the 
nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going 
forth, one by one, until they had all gone forth, and did see 
with their eyes, and did feel with their hands, and did know 
of a surety, and did bear record, that it was he of whom it 
was written by the prophets that should come." 

Just think of it, friends, 2500 people go forth one by- 
one and * 'thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the 
print of the nails in his hands and in his feet.'* It would 
be very rapid work, requiring so much haste as to give 
the whole thing the appearance of a farce, to supposeyfz/^ 
persons could thus pass the Savior every minute, giving 
each one only twelve seconds to thrust his hand into the 
side and feel the print of the nails both in his hands and 
in his feet. But at this rapid rate it would require just 
eight hours and twenty mimdes of time / 

The author of the Book of Mormon must have had 
a wonderful development of the marvelous in his make 


up, for a large number of the incidents and the miracles 
of the Bible are in this way improved upon, until the im- 
pression siezes hold upon you that the author is bent up- 
on beating the Bible, casting its miracles and its wonder- 
ful incidents completely in the shade, at whatever strain 
upon the readers credulity, or sacrifice of reason or com- 
mon sense. 

For instance, the three hours of darkness extending 
over the land of Judea, and the earthquake and the rend- 
ing of the rocks, that accompanied the Savior* s agony 
upon the cross, as if nature were expressing sympathy 
with her suffering Creator, and that ceased when his ag- 
onized soul was released, is not only repeated here in 
this country, but is extended through three full days; 
with such a darkness as remands that old miracle in 
Egypt to the shades; and with such accompaniments 
as the eye never saw or pen ever recorded before or since. 
Its account occupies four and a half pages, being chapter 
four of Nephi, pages 450-455.* 

The birth of Jesus Christ was signalized in his own 
homeland by two beautiful and appropriate occurrences: 
the appearance of a star to guide the eastern magi to his 
birthplace, and the angels appearance and announce- 
ment to the watchful shepherds on the plains of Bethle- 
hem, neither of which was seen or heard by any other 
parties. But how little and insignificant compared with 
the occurrences on this continent that same night! The 
people had been prepared by years of prophesying and 
were on the tiptoe of expectancy as the designated time 
drew near. As the year was ushered in, ** Behold the 
prophesies of the prophets began to be fulfilled more fully, 

♦For a full account of this remarkable occurrence, please see next 


for there began to be greater signs and greater miracles 
wrought among the people. ' ' But there were wicked un- 
believers in those days, and they were cruel enough to set 
apart a day ''that all those who believed in these tradit- 
ions shouldbe put to death, except the sign should come 
to pass which had been given by Samuel the prophet." - 
At this the good Nephi^s heart became 

"exceeding sorrowful. And it came to pass that he went out 
and bowed himself down upon the earth and cried mightily 
unto the Lord all the day; and, behold the voice of the Lord, 
came unto him, saying, lift up your head and be of good cheer, 
for, behold the time is at hand, and on this night shall the 
sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world." 

And sure enough this promise was fulfilled. 

* * * "For behold at the going down of the sun 
there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonish- 
ed, because there was no darkness when the night came. 
And there were many, who had not believed the words of the 
prophets, fell to the earth and became as if they were dead 
* * * yea, in fine, all the people upon the face of the whole 
eartl:, from the west to the east, both in the land north (North 
America) and in the land south (South America,) were so ex- 
ceedingly astonished that they fell to the earth; for they 
knew that the prophets had testified of these things for many 
years, and that the sign which had been given was already 
at hand*; and they began to fear because of their iniquity and 
their unbelief. 

"And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all 
that night, but it was as light as though it was midday. And 
it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, 
according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the 
day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which 
had been given. And it came to pass also, that a new star 
did appear, according to the word." 

Friends, this is evidently the most stupendous phy- 
sical miracle ever accomplished since God first called the 
sun into being, for the sun goes down as usual and is seen 
to rise the next morning at its proper time; hence, the 
Creator, in some monster chemical laboratory, must man- 
ufacture light to furnish both these vast continents enough 


to make it ' 'as light as though it was midday' ' for twelve 
consecutive hours; or else suspend some huge reflector 
at such an angle in mid-heavens as to throw upon these 
two continents the full power of the sun's rays during the 
whole night. Joshua's miracle of lengthening a day by 
commanding the sun to stand still was mere child's play 
compared with this ! Evidently, no ordinary miracles can 
satisfy the versatile genius and the brilliant imagination 
of the author of this book. 

One more illustration. The building of Noah's 
ark is completely cast into the shade by the feat of Jared 
and his company, who built eight barges, or vessels, all 
''according to the instructions of the Lord." Let me 
read you from Ether, i: 5 — page 519: 

"And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did go to 
work, and also his brother, and built bargesafter the manner 
which they had built, according to the instructions of the 
Lord. And they were small, and they were light upon the 
water, even like uato the lightness of a fowl upon the water; 
and they were built after a manner that they were exceeding 
tight, even that they would hold water like unto a dish; and 
the bottom thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the sides 
thereof were tight like unto a dish; and the ends thereof were 
peaked; and the top thereof was tight like unto a dish; and 
the length thereof was the length of a tree; and the door 
thereof, when it was shut, was tight, like unto a dish." 

When they are finished the brother of Jared 

'*(3ried unto the Lord saying, O Lord, I have performed the 
work which thou hast commanded me, and I have made the 
barges according as thou hast directed me." 

Please notice, friends, that they are built exactly 
''according to the instructions of the Lord,'' But lo and 
behold! the Lord \idiS forgotten two very important mat- 

a. No ventilation has been provided — as tight as an 
egg-shell — and so the brother of Jared informs the Lord 
of the omission. 


**And also we shall perish, for in them we cannot breathe, 
save it is the air which is in them; therefore we shall perish. 
And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared, behold, thou 
shalt make a hole in the top thereof, and also in the bottom 
thereof; and when thou shalt suffer for air, thou shalt unstop 
the hole thereof, and receive air. And if so be that the water 
come in upon thee, behold ye shall stop the hole thereof, that 
ye may not perish in the flood. And it came to pass that the 
brother of Jared did so, according as the Lord had com- 

The exact object of the hole in the bottom does not 
clearly appear; nor is it stated how they are to ^et air to 
breathe when the waves are breaking over them so fierce- 
ly that they have to close the hole at the top; for the se- 
quel tells us positively: 

*'And it came to pass that they were many times buried 
in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which 
broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests 
which were caused by the fierceness of the wind." 

b. But now another sad deficiency is discovered: 

"And he cried again unto the Lord saying, O Lord, be- 
hold I have done even as thou hast commanded me; and I 
have prepared the vessels for my people, and behold there is 
no light in them. Behold, O Lord, wilt thou suffer that we 
shall cross the great water in darkness?" 

And the Lord, apparently, is puzzled to know how 
to manage this matter, and so he asks advice of the 
brother of Jared: 

"And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared, what will 
ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels? 
For behold, ye cannot have windows, for they will be dashed 
in pieces; n^-ither shall ye take fire with you, for ye shall not 
go by the light of fire; for behold,ye shall be as a whale in the 
midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. 
Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of 
the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and 
also the rains and the floods have I sent forth. And behold, 
I prepare you against these things; for howbeit, ye cannot 
cross this crreat deep, save I prepare you against the waves of 
the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods 


which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should pre- 
pare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up 
in the depths of the sea?" 

And the brother of Jared was quite equal to the 
emergency. He was evidently a man of remarkable re- 
sources. He went up into a very high mountain 
**and did moulten out of a rock sixteen small stones, and 
they were white and clear even as transparent glass.*'* 

And those sixteen stones he presented before the 
Lord; and after an earnest prayer, in which he informs the 
Lord of his ability to do anything he pleases, he says: 

"Therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, 
and prepare them that they may shine forth in the darkness; 
and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we 
have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross 
the sea." 

And the Lord did so, and touched the stones one by 
one with his finger, and they became luminous with light, 
and were placed two in each barge, one at each end. 

"And it came to pass that when they had prepared all 
manner of food, that thereby they might subsist upon the 
water and also fo<»(l for their flocks and herds, and whatso- 
ever beast, or animal, or fowl that they should carry with them. 
And it came to pass that when they had done all these things, 
they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into 
the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God." 

Perhaps we should not stop to cavil over such 
small matters as to who pushed these vessels ,or barges, 
off the shore when they were all loaded; nor how they 
managed for 344 days without/r^.y^ water to drink; nor yet 
the statement, **And it came to pass that the Lord God 
caused that there should ?i furious wind blow upon the 
face of the waters toward the promised land,'' and that this 
wind continued to blow furiously in one direction, day 

♦Just a little early in the history of the race (loo years after the flood) to 
speak of grlass. 


and night, for 344 days, driving them through the Indian 
Ocean and across the mighty Pacific, through its gulf 
streams and all, meanwhile keeping all those eight bar- 
ges together and landing them all safely on the shores of 
the new world! A miracle compared with which all the 
ordinary miracles of the Bible are tame and almost in- 

There are several other historical incidents, founded 
upon Bible narratives, with attempted improvements, 
that I had hoped to review this evening, but time will 
allow only a reference, such as the building of a temple 
after the pattern of Solomon's temple, by six or eight 
men and a few boys, in the space of perhaps three or 
four years (the exact time not given, but it could not 
have been more), while Solomon's temple required seven 
years and the employment of 153,300 men. — See II 
Nephi, 4: 3. The beheading of John the Baptist, 
accomplished through the dancing of Herodias; worked 
over by the daughter of Jared, who sought to secure 
through her dancing the head of her grandfather. 
— See Ether, 3: 11, 12. 

Joshua's plan of capturing Ai by an ambush, made to 
do valuable service against the enemies of the Nephites 
on at least two different occasions. — See Alma, 26:22,31. 
Numerous other Bible incidents, worked over until the 
plagiarism is almost hidden from view by the extra em- 
bellishments; all of which look very much unlike God, 
and partake very much of human weakness. 

But, we are not yet done with these Bible quotations. 

Suppose a man, to-day, should write a book and 
attach to it the name of some noted author of two hun- 
dred years ago, and attempt to make the world believe 


that it really was the production of that old author, hid- 
den from the public, for certain reasons, until now. How 
could the truth be ascertained? In several ways; one 
way would be this: 

During the past 200 years, our English language 
has been undergoing a great many changes; many old 
words have become obsolete and are^ no longer used, 
while thousands of new words have been coined from the 
various languages with which our language has come in 
contact, or have grown out of important events, or rev- 
olutions, or scientific discoveries that have during these 
200 years occurred. Now, if upon examination, this 
book, purporting to be 200 years old, is found to be 
written in the current language of the present day, full 
of words and phrases and idiomatic expressions that 
were wholly unknown to the English langu age 200 years 
ago, this fact alone would furnish the most conclusive pos- 
sible proof of the fraud. It could not have been written 
200 years ago. It must have been written during the 
present age. 

An actual illustration of this method of criticism, 
and the certainty of its results, may be of interest. 

In all the old copies of our Bible, you will remem- 
ber, there used to be found between the Old and the 
New Testaments, a number of books called the ''Apoc- 
raphy,'' The time was, in the early ages of the Christian 
church, when a large majority of the Christians in the 
world believed those books were inspired of God, and 
therefore should have a place in the Bible. Not time 
this evening to explain to you how this came about, 
though it is a very interesting page of history. I will 
simply select one of these books and show how easily 
careful students have ascertained, beyond the possibility 


of question, that it is spurious, I refer to the book 
called the **Bookof Wisdom." It is a beautiful book, 
in many particulars, finely composed; is, in fact, one of the 
finest human compositions of ancient times. But it pro- 
fesses to have been written by Solomon, the great king 
Solomon, son of David. Now, Solomon Hved looo 
years before Christ, at a time when the Hebrew language 
was written and spoken in its purity; and all Solomon's 
writings that have come down to us in the Old Testa- 
ment scriptures are found in the Hebrew language. 

Four hundred years after the death of Solomon, the 
Jewish nation was carried in captivity to Babylon, the 
capital of Chaldea. There they remained seventy years ; 
and the pure Hebrew of the Jews came in constant con- 
tact with the Chaldaic language. The result was per- 
fectly natural. The Jews learned to make use of a large 
number of Chaldaic words and phrases and idioms. The 
pure Hebrew became corrupted by having incorporated 
into it a large amount of the Chaldaic. This mixture is 
very clearly seen in the Book of Daniel, the books of 
Ezra and Nehemiah, the prophecies of Ezekiel and all 
the minor prophets who wrote during the time or after 
the captivity at Babylon. Their writings are full of 
Chaldaisms that is, words and phrases and peculiar id- 
ioms that they learned to use while living in Babylon. 

Now, this ''Book of Wisdom" just mentioned, is 
filled full of Chaldaisms, or Chaldaic words and phrases 
and idiomatic expressions which had not been heard of, 
or found in the Hebrew language /t?r at least four hun- 
dred years after the death of Solomon, Proving be- 
yond the possibility of a doubt that the book was written 
either during, or after the captivity at Babylon; and, of 
course, was not written by Solomon. And therefore a 


fraud — a lie upon the face of it — an attempt to deceive 
the public, and gain for itself credit and influence, and 
perhaps divine authority by forging the name of that 
wisest and most illustrious of men, Solomon, as its author. 

In a similar way has been shown the spurious char- 
acter of a multitude of books written in the first, second 
and third centuries after Christ, purporting to be authen- 
tic lives of Jesus Christ, or genuine letters of the apos- 
tles, with an apostle's name attached. They are either 
written in the current language of their day, and thus 
easily betray their real age, or else the attempt to imi- 
tate the apostles' style and language is too apparent to 
deceive the critical scholar. ''Murder will out.*' In 
every attempt at fraud, the cloven foot will show itself 
somewhere, however careful and determined the effort 
to cover it up. 

Well now, the Book of Mormon purports to have 
been written, the first part of it, by a Jew named Nephi, 
a son of Lehi, who left the city of Jerusalem with his 
father in the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, or about 
six hundred years before Christ. Nearly one fourth of 
the entire book was written by this man Nephi; the bal- 
ance was written by his brother Jacob and their descend- 
ants, covering a period of nearly one thousand years.* 
The entire book was written or engraven upon plates in 
a sort of Hebraized Egyptian language, or, as the author 
states it: 

*'I make a record in the language of my father, 
which consists of the learning of the Jews and the lang- 
uage of the Egyptians," whatever that may mean. I 
believe the last writer Moroni decides upon naming this 
nondescript language the ''Reformed Egyptian." And 

♦Properly speaking-, Mormon and has son Moroni wrote the entire book, 
but Nephi and his descentants, as above stited, furnished all tht material; 


I must frankly confess to you, friends, / do not like the 
look of this. It has the scent of fraud i?i it. 

The pure Hebrew was, at the time Nephi left Jeru- 
salem, the 7iative toyigue of the Jews ; it was exclusively 
Vieir written language. Every book in the Old Testa- 
ment up to that time had been written in the pure He- 
brew. And how this man, who, the book tells us, was 
born and raised right in the city of Jerusalem, could have 
used from his childhood the Egyptian language, is in- 
deed singular, considering the Jews' hatj^ed of the 
Egyptians, and their strong veneration amounting almost 
to adoration of their native Hebrew. 

And the singularity of the thing is only increased 
when we remember that the Egyptian language was a 
very awkward, unwieldly, cumbersome and frequently 
unintelligible language as compared with the Hebrew, 
which was the most beautiful, expressive and compre- 
hensive language then in use, peculiarly well adapted to 
be the medium for communicating God's thoughts and 
God's wisdom to the world. In fact, the prophet 
Moroni frankly admits this superiority of the Hebrew 
over the reformed Egyptian. He says: 

"And now behold we have written this record according 
to onr knowledge in the characters which are called among 
us, the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered 
by lis according to our manner of speech. And if our plates 
had been sufficiently large, we should have written in He- 
brew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if 
we could have written in the Hebrew, behold ye would have 
had no imperfection in our record. But the Lord knoweth 
the things which we have written, and also that noue other 
people knoweth our language."— Mormon, 4: 8. 

This statement is positive, that had we used the He- 
brew instead of the Reformed Egyptain there would 
have been *'no imperfection* in our record." 

*A lame and silly attempt, this, at fuiding- an excuse for all the blunders 
and imperfections in style, etc., already pointed out in the Book of Mormon. 


And now, friends, what do you imagine can be the 
reason, what vast and weighty consideration can be a 
sufficient inducement to allow blunders and imperfec- 
tions enough to curse the book forever, and prove that 
it could never have been inspired of God? when by 
simply using the Hebrew language all would have been 
as perfect and complete as the most exacting could 
desire, **no imperfection in our record." 

The reason given is, that his plates were not large 
eiioiigh for the Hebrew. *'If our plates had been suffi- 
ciently large we should have written in Hebrew." That 
is, the Hebrew requires more space than the Egyptian. 
Friends, I can characterize this by no smoother langu- 
age than that it -is a bold and inipudeyit lie^ evidently de- 
signed to cover the real reason why the plates were found 
in the Reformed Egyptian. 

a. To show you the difference between the Egyptian 
and the Hebrew languages, both as to the space they 
occupy, and the ease of writing, or engraving upon plates, 
I have had transcribed the following two words as speci- 
mens, taken from the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, article 
''Hieroglyphics" (Egyptian): 


Pronounced. Meaning. 



'^T^J'^lll^S^ Markabuta. Chariot. 








And that these two Egyptian words are by no means 
exceptional* ones can be very easily seen by anyone who 
will examine the very exhaustive article above mentioned. 

b. But even if the statement from Moroni were true, 
if the Hebrew required larger plates, if it required ten 
fold mor^ space than the Reformed Egyptian, the ex- 
cuse would come with ill grace in a book that has more 
plates in it, and more said about them, than any book, 
perhaps, ever written. All the way from the first 
Nephi to Mormon, plates, almost by the wagon load, are 
mentioned. The following are only a few of the places 
where plates in great abundance are mentioned: 

See pages 2, 3, 11, 16, 44, 62, 63, 138, 139, 141, 142, 
144, 145, 161, 162, 204, 394, 395, 549.t In three places 
at least, Mormon says that his abridgement from all these 
various records contains less than one hundredth part 
of the originals that were in his hands. 

"But behold, a hundredth part of the proceedings 
of this people cannot be contained in this work; but 
behold, there are many books and many records of every 
kind, and they have been kept chiefly by the Nephites; 
and they have been handed down from one generation 
to another by the Nephites." — Heleman, 2: 4, or p. 394. 
See also pages 142 and 549. 

All these writings, remember, claim to be inspired 
of God, and were engraven at his command, one hun- 
dred times more than were needed for this Book of Mor- 
mon. One may, therefore, be excused for calling into 
question the statement that there were not plates enough 

*Among the pure hieroglyphics an occasional word occurs exceedingly 
brief. Instance the happy conception that made a simple circle represent the 
word eternity. lUit these brief word signs were the exception ; when words 
yiexe^ spelled out in the usual way, they occupy two or three times as much 
space as the Hebrew. See also foot note on page 74. 

fThe edition of the Book of Mormon I use was published in Salt Lake, 
in 1876, by David O. Calder. 


to allow the use of the Hebrew, and thus have secured 
"no imperfection in our record," when a hundred times 
more material than was actually needed had already 
been engraven upon plates, at the command of God. 

Why then, friends, should Nephi and his successors 
to the time of Moroni, have rejected their own native 
language, so well adapted to the work they had in hand, 
and have selected, instead, a language they freely ack- 
nowledge is imperfect, and poorly fitted for their use, and 
then attempt to deceive their readers as to the real 
reason, unless the supposition of fraud is the true expla- 

Mr. Smith and his helpers, if he had such, were 
certainly sharp enough to know that had they represent- 
ed those plates to have been written in the Hebrew 
language, there were a thousand Hebrew scholars all 
over the world, who could easily and readily have ex- 
posed the fraud. For the words and phrases and id- 
ioms of that language are so peculiar; its way of ex- 
pressing thought so different from any other language 
on earth that no honest or correct translation could pos- 
sibly hide or cover up its peculiarities. But by having 
those plates engraved in a language that no person at 
the present day knew anything about, 7io scholar on 
earth could detect the fraud in the usual way. The criti- 
cisms would be placed outside the pale of oriental schol- 
arship at least. 

And yet, friends, there are some rules, some 
facts, that must be true even of the Egyptian language 
after it has been mixed up with **the learning of 
the Jews. " And one fact is that the Egyptian 
language had only a few words in it. The Hebrew, 
as compared with the other ancient languages, is uni- 


versally acknowledged to be exceedingly rich and com- 
prehensive. And yet the total number of words in it is 
limited to a few thousand; and its primary words, its 
roots, the foundations of the language, are limited to a 
few hundred. And the same thing was necessarily true 
of all the earHest languages on the earth.* Language 
is a growth. As different nations, and diverse peoples 
mingle with each other, rub against each other, new 
ideas are formed, new facts discovered, new thoughts de- 
veloped; and, therefore, 7iew words have to be coined to 
express those new thoughts. Hence, the Greek and the 
Latin languages, being a later growth than either the 
Hebrew or the Egyptian, are found with a greatly en- 
larged vocabulary. The Latin, for instance, has several 
times as many words in it as the older Hebrew. 

And even more rapid has been the change in mod- 
ern tijnes, keeping pace with the rapid strides in every 
branch of human learning, until our English language 
is fairly loaded down with the wealth of all the past; and 
contains, probably, tweitty times as many words as either 
the ancient Hebrew or the Egyptian. And thousands 
of these words are, of course, new words, made neces- 
sary to express new thoughts, new facts in science^ new 
facts in human experience, new views of truth, enlarged 
conceptions of old truths that require new forms of ex- 

*TIie first attempt of the Egypti:»ns, in the earliest ag-e, to reduce their 
spoken hmguag-e to writing-, was the invention of what are called ^^hierogly- 
phicsy^ a system of symbol, or sign writing; for instance, they wished to write 
the word "horse;" having- no alphabet, or letters of any kind, no way o^ spell- 
ing the word, they made ^. picture of a horse; a stairway was represented by a 
few steps; a tree, bird, etc., by the thing itself in outline. Thus every object 
in nature was expressed so far as possible by its picture, while ideas not 
objects^ were expressed by certain symbols; as, the word eternity, by 
a circle; weakness, by a human form bending^ over etc., etc. When 
this method of writing had i cached its limit, the language was found to con- 
tain about qoo v/ords, altogether. 

Intercourse with other nations, probably, after a time suggested the in- 
vention of an alphabet with letters representing the elementary sounds of 
their spoken language, with what success, the two specimens on page 71 will 


pression. There are thousands of words, therefore, 
that express thoughts and facts and ideas that were never 
dreamed of in the earlier ages of the world; and that no 
word or combination of words in the ancient Hebrew or 
Egyptian could express. 

If, therefore, upon a careful examination of the 
Book of Mormon, any such words shall be found in it, 
words or phrases or forms of expression conveying 
thoughts that are known to be entirely modern, wholly 
unknown to either the Hebrew or the Egyptian langu- 
age anciently, this would furnish the most indubitable 
proof that the book is a modern compositio7i^ and there- 
fore not what it claims to be. 

Time will allow the mention of only a few words by 
way of illustration. 

And the first word that attracted my attention at the 
very beginning of the book, was the name of Lehi's third 
son, Sam. I said to myself, "Sam, Sam, Sam. Well, 
really, here is a boy six hundred years before Christ 
who has the bonifide Yankee nickname for Samuel." 
There is certainly nothing Hebrewistic about this name, 
nor does it sound like any Egyptian name we ever heard; 
possibly, however, by putting the Hebrew and the 
Egyptian languages together, or by adding to the 
Egyptian **the learning of the Jews, ^' this name, *'Sam," 
might be manufactured, I would not, therefore, offer 
this as conclusive evidence of the modern origin of the 
book, but I confess it started in my own mind the first 
grave suspicion in that direction. 

But here is a word, on page 206, that by no possi- 
ble chance could have been used in those early ages : 

"I myself have laboured with all the power of faculties 
which I have possessed." 


''Faculty" is from the Latin, and was entirely un- 
known to either the Hebrew or the Egyptian. But es- 
pecially in its present use as designating the various 
powers, or attributes of the mind, it is a modern word ex- 
clusively. The ancients knew nothing of such a division 
of the mind, or soul into faculties. The presence, there- 
fore, of this one word alone in the Book of Mormon is 
sufficient to prove that it is not a translation of the an- 
cient Egyptian language, as no such word with such a 
meaning is found in that or any other ancient language. 

The word "popular," on page 209. A certain mis- 
chief maker is represented as going about among the 
people declaring: 

*'That every priest, and teacher ought to become popular; 
and they ought not to labor with their hands, but that they 
ought to be supported by the people.*' 

"Popular" is also a Latin word from ^'populos''' 
meaning ^ 'peopled But in the sense in which it is used 
in this place, it is ertiirely modern. In fact, the whole 
sentence is modern in its conception, peculiarly so. It is, 
indeed, strange that the author could have so far lost his 
wits as to allow his anxiety to slap clergymen of the 
present day in the face, to lead him into a blunder that 
proves his work a fraud beyond a possibility of question* 
For over and over again the Book of Mormon declares 
that Lehi and his descendants kept the law of Moses^ 
with the greatest carefulness, until Christ came who set 
aside the law by fulfilling it. So exact were they in this 
observance that Nephi and his people built a magnificent 
temple, patterned after the temple of Solomon, almost 
immediately upon their arrival in this country, and set 
apart their two youngest brothers as priests. Well now, 
one of the first and plainest requirements of the law of 
Moses was the setting apart of the tribe of Levi to the 


work of the priesthood, and the provision for- their com- 
plete and abundant support by a tax of one-te?ith of all 
the income of the nation. 

But here in this paragraph a man gets himself into 
trouble and finally suffers the penalty of death for pub- 
licly teaching that ' 'priests ought not to labor with their 
hands, btit be supported by the people,'' precisely the 
thing that the law of Moses absolutely and uncondition- 
ally required. Surely the writer of the above could not 
have been an ancient writer, but a modey-n man with a very 
strong desire to hit hard the modern custom of a salaried 

In connection with this same sinner, on page 210, 
we have the word "priestcraft" three times repeated: 

"Behold this is the first time that priestcraft has been in- 
troduced among this people. And behold, thou art not only 
guilty of priestcraft, but hast endeavored to enforce it 
by the sword; and were priestcraft to be enforced among 
this people, it would prove their entire destruction." 

The word ''priest'' is old, and the word ''craft" 
and ''crafty" is old; but putting the two words together 
in the sense in which It is used here is a conception of 
modern times, growing out of the corruptions and the 
priestly power of the Church of Rome. 

On page 227 we find the expression, "awful dilem- 

* * * "That I should find that ye were not in the awfal 
dilemma that our brethren were in at Zarahemla." 

And again on the next page: 

"I had much desire that ye were not in the state of di- 
lemma like your brethren." 

State of dilemma is not a correct use of the word. 
There is no such thing as a state of dilemma. But the 
word dilemma is from the Greek language, and has no 


counterpart, so far as I can find, in the Hebrew or the 
Egyptian language. 

And still more than this may be said of the word 
"'synagogue'' found in several places. For instance, on 
page 254 : 

"And Alma and Amulelt went forth preaching repent- 
arce to the people in their temples, and in their sanotnaries, 
and also in their synagoo^ues, which were built after the man- 
ner of the Jews." 

This occurred, according to the chronology of the 
book, about one hundred and fifteen years before Christ 
visited this country in person. And the above state- 
ment shows that there were at that time three kinds of 
buildings used for religious purposes; why they needed 
so many kinds we are not informed. First, "temples;" 
second, * 'sanctuaries;" and third, "synagogues;" and 
these synagogues were * 'built after the manner of the 

Now, friends, seriously, how did those people, over 
one hundred years before Christ visited them, find out 
about Jewish synagogues^" The word itself is a Greek 
word, not found in any other ancient language; it is not . 
found in the Old Testament. Indeed, as a matter of 
fact, no such places of worship were known to the Old 
Testament Jews. While the first temple was standing, 
the Jews had only the one sanctuary. The Egyptians 
had only temples, which were national and not local 
places of worship. No form of religion on earth had 
ever provided for or required local places of worship. 
It was not until after the dispersion of the Jews into vari- 
ous foreign countries, so remote from each other as to 
forbid a national gathering, that places of worship were 
built in each separate city or community, where the peo 
pie could meet together on the Sabbath day to read and 


expound the law and the prophets. And these places 
were called syna^^og-ues wherever the Greek la^iguage 
prevailed. The word si m ply means a ' 'place of meeimg. ' ' 

But no such places were known, and no such word 
as synagogue had ever been heard by Nephi and his 
people when they left Jerusalem and came to this coun- 
try, six hundred years before Christ. And they had no 
communication with the old world, and probably never 
had heard of such a language as the Greek. Where, 
then, did they get the word synagogue, and especially 
where did they get the model upon which to construct 
these buildings? 

Once more, let me read you a passage that, to say 
the least, is a very odd one to have been uttered nearly 
600 years before Christ. ' On page 107: 

"And my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the 
earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the house 
of Israel. And because my words shall hiss forth, many 
Gentiles shall say, a bible, a bible, we have got a bible, and 
there cannot be any more bible. But thus saith the Lord 
God; O fools, they shall have a bible; and it shall proceed 
forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And 
what thank they the Jews for the bible which they receive 
from them? * * * Thou fool that shall say a bible, we have 
got a bible, and we need no mare bible. Have ye obtained 
a bible, save it were by the Jews? Know yfs not that there 
are more nations than one?" 

And then the author proceeds in the most approved 
Mormon style of the present day to argue the necessity 
of a continued and perpetual revelation, proving, if his 
arguments prove anything, that there should be a sepa- 
rate * 'bible" for every separate nation on earth: 

"For behold I shall speak unto the Jews, and they shall 
write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephi tes, and they 
shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of 
the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall 
write it; and I shall also speak unto all the nations of the 
earth and they shall write it." 


Utterly oblivious, apparently, of the fact that the 
very terms he uses expose the whole thing as a fraud ot 
the first water. 

The word ''Bible," as applied to the Holy Scrip- 
tures, was never heard of or thought of until centuries 
after the Christian era. ' ^ Hiera grammata, ' \s acred writ- 
ings), was the term used in New Testament times to des- 
ignate the various books that made up the Word of God. 
You, of course, understand that the books of the Bible 
were written separately and circulated separately for 
ages. It was nearly 200 years after Christ before the 
various books of the New Testament had been collected 
and, in connection with the books of the Old Testament, 
put together into one volume, to which was given still 
later the name, ''Ho Biblos'' the Greek word for book 
''the Book,'' from which, with an English termination, 
we get the word Bible. And yet this word that had no 
meaning whatever for at least 800 years after Nephi's 
time, is put into his mouth as glibly as it would be utter- 
ed to-day. 

It is said in reply, that this is di prophecy of Nephi's; 
he is foretelling what Gentiles of to-day will say about 
the word of God. This does not meet the difficulty. 
All the prophecies of the Bible are uttered in the current 
language of the day, in the vernacular of the prophet 
who utters them. To suppose that Nephi, who uses the 
reformed Egyptian, should utter prophecies in the 
Greek, a language he had never heard of, would be sim- 
ply preposterous. He would be talking Chocktaw both 
to himself and to all who listened to him, for this occurs 
in the midst of an earnest speech dehvered to his ''be- 
loved brethren, " who are standing around him. How 
absurdly ridiculous for Nephi to stand up before his 


brethren, all of whom are reformed Egyptian in speech, 
and say in his native tongue, *'My beloved brethren, 
many of the Gentiles shall say, a biblos, a biblos, we have 
got a biblos, and we need no more biblosT 

Let me mention one other word several times used 
in the Book of Mormon: 'Hmmortal^' joined to the word 
soul, 'Hmmortal soul,'' an expression that is not only 
modern in its use, not found in any of the ancient lang- 
uages, not found in either the Old or New Testament, — 
but is, in fact, directly at variance with the plain state- 
ments of the New Testament. It is a popular expression 
of modern invention, designed to express a solemn Bible 
truth, but unfortunately puts into the word immortal a 
meaning that does not belong to it. Immortal means, 
''not subject to death." It is applied, in the Bible, to 
the body after the resurrection-, but not applied to the 
soul here in this life, because the Bible expressly 
represents the soul of the sinner as already dead *'in 
trespasses and in sins." It has no life, real true life, 
until it has been regenerated by the Spirit of God and 
made alive in Christ. Hence the word immortal is not 
a proper word to describe the soul here, for instead of 
being *^not subject to death," it is already dead. The 
popular meaning of the word is that the soul shall never 
cease to exist, which is true; but the word immortal is 
not the right word to express that truth. 

The use, then, of this word alone, as applied to the 
soul, in the Book of Mormon, would be an indisputable 
proof that the book is modern in its conception and 
make-up, and could not be from God, for God cannot 
contradict himself He could not possibly be beguiled 
into the use of a word that would contradict the express 
teachings of the Bible. 


There are many other words whose existence in the 
Book of Mormon proves its modern origin; as, the 
word ''barges,'" the name given to Jared's vessels, or 
arks, nearly 2500 years before Christ. It is from the 
Danish Bargie. 

The word *'Jew" or ''J^ws," used on almost every 
page of the Book of Mormon, a nickname given to the 
scattered remnants- of God's ancient people long after 
the Christian era, very improperly found in our English 
version of the New Testament, but not in the original 
Greek. In every instance the Greek says, loudaioi 
C'Judeans," or inhabitants of Judea). 

^^ Gentiles ^"^^ from the Latin GentiliSy a word abso- 
lutely without meaning to the Nephites and Lamanites 
in this country, who were all descendants of one family, 
the tribe of Manassah, 

''Baptize," from the Greek, but used in this country 
150 years before Christ as we use it to-day in the Eng- 
lish to describe the Christian ordinance. 

So the word "church," a modern word, from the 
Danish "kirke," or the German "kirche," put into the 
New Testament as the translation of the Greek word 
ekklasia (an assembly), but used in this country 150 
years before Christ's time. 

There are many words and phrases, usually called 

slang phrases, that are well known to be modern, and 

only modern, in their use, such as the word "hinder- 

ment," on page 250: 

"And he became a great hinderment to the prosperity of 
the church." 

The phrase "make game," on page 491: 

*'Yea, ye need not any longer hiss, nor spurn, nor make 
game of the Jews, nor any of the remnant of the house of 


A slang phrase that is not only modern in its origin, 
but if I mistake not, originated in our own country.* 

But why need I specify words, single words, when 
there are sentences by the thousand, and whole chapters, 
whose very presence in the Book of Mormon, in the 
form in which they are found, setdes the question of the 
modern origin of the book beyond the possibility of 
question. I refer to all the quotations from the Bible, em- 
bracing, as I have already shown you, so large a part of 
the book. They are every one of them, with scarcely 
an exception, fnade verbatim from our moderii English 
version, the King James' version of the Bible, made a little 
over 200 years ago. 

You have all known this fact, of course, ever since 
you first knew the Book of Mormon. But I am con- 
vinced you have never carefully considered what that fact 
means, or you must have rejected it at once as a fraud. 
I need only repeat to you the manner of preparing the 
Book of Mormon as related by the eye witnesses. 

David Whitmer states as follows: 

"The tablets, or plates were translated by Smith, who 
used a small ovnl, or kidney-shaped stone, called Urim and 
Thummim, that seemed endowed with the marvelous power 
of converting the characters on the plates, when used by 
Smith, into English, who would then dictate to Cowdry 
what to write. Frequently one character would make two 

*Tt has been replied to the arg^ume it from tlie use of all these modern 
words that "the ang^el '.\'ho translated those ancient plates for Joseph Smith 
would be apt to use words with which Joseph Smith was familiar: he would 
clothe the ancient thoug-ht in a modern dress, and use such simple modern ex- 
pressions as Joseph Smith, who was an unlettered man, could readily under- 

To this it is sufRcient to reply that while this supposition, if true, mig^ht 
account for the existence of some of the words already mentioned in the Book 
of Mormon, such as "Jew," "baptism," "church," "popular," etc., words that 
may have had some counterpart in the ancient lanstuag-e in which those plates 
were written, it could by no pof-sibility be made to account for the existence in 
the Rook of Mormon of such words as "faculties," "synag-og-ue," "Gentiles,*' 
"Bible," "immortal soul," "make game," and other words that, as we have 
seen, had vo cotwterpart in any ancient language with which the Nephites 
had any knowledge. 


lines of manuscript, while others made bnt a word or two 
words." — *'Myth of the Manuscript Found," page 83. 

Martin Harris explains the translation as follows: 

"By the aid of the seer stone, sentences would appear 
and were read by the prophet and written by Martin, and 
when finished he would say, 'Written/ and if correctly writ- 
ten, that sentence would disappear and another ai)pear in its 
place; but if not written correctly it remained until corrected, 
so that the translation was just as it was engraven on the 
plates, precisely in the language then used." — Myth of the M. 
F., page 91. 

These two witnesses, you observe, exactly agree as 
to the modus operandi. Joseph vSmith has one of the 
plates before him, and places this oval-shaped stone di- 
rectly over one of the characters upon the plate; and 
the stone is endoweci with the marvelous power of trans- 
lating that character into the Enghsh language, so that 
Joseph Smith is permitted to read the English word or 
sentence as it appears on the top of the stone. You see 
the Egypdan character is underneath, and its English 
equivalent appears on top of the stone, so that there can 
be no posssible chance of mistake. Mr. Smith has simply to 
read the sentence as it appears on top of the stone, and Mr. 
Cowdry, seated at a short distance from Mr. Smith, with 
a blanket hung up between them, copies or writes each 
sentence as it falls from Mr. Smith's lips. And to pre- 
vent the possibility of mistake, the sentence or word re- 
mains on the stone infullviezv of Mr. Smith until Mr. 
Cowdry has had thne to zvrite it out in full. And if Mr. 
Cowdry for any reason misunderstands Mr. Smith, and 
thus makes a mistake, the sentence will not dozvn, it still 
persists in remaining there until the mistake has been 
corrected. Neither Mr. Smith nor Mr. Cowdry have 
any responsibility in the matter, except, simply, the one 
to announce and the other to write down whatever ap- 


pears on the top of the stone. If the sentences are awk- 
wardly expressed, or grammatically incorrect, or con- 
tain useless verbiage, unnecessary repetitions, or have 
errors of doctrine, or blunders of any kind, it is not at 
all the fault of Mr. Smith or Mr. Cowdry; it must be 
charged to the stone, or the angel that works it, or to 
the original writing underneath the stone. These earn- 
est men have only to announce and write down what 
the stone records. 

And whether the sentence that appears on the top 
of the stone is really a translation of the characters un- 
der the stone, they have no possible means of knowing. 
Both are uneducated men and know nothing whatever 
of the Egyptian characters they are translating. All they 
know about it, and all they claim to know about it, is 
that an angel, or some celestial personage that looked 
like an angel, as they supposed, appeared to them and 
told them that the words on top of the stone were a 
translation true and faithful of the characters underneath. 

It is claimed there are <f/«fz/^;z witnesses to the cred- 
ibility of the Book of Mormon. But it can be readily 
seen that not one of them is, or can be a credible wit- 
ness. They saw the plates, some plates, and describe 
their size, general appearance, etc. But every witness 
fails, just at the point where an anxious world want 
information, that is whether those plates contain an in- 
congruous lot of characters that represented nothing 
whatever, or were a genuine record; and if a genuine 
record, whether they contained the whole or any part of 
the Book of Mormon. In other words, whether Joseph 
Smith was honest or playing upon their credulity they 
had no possible means of knowing, farther than the 
statement of this redoubtable angel. 


And now, friends, on the supposition that Joseph 
Smith was an honest, earnest man, I propose, by four 
plain and simple facts, to show you positively and con- 
clusively that this angel was a fraud. That when he 
told Joseph Smith that the words which appeared to 
him on the top of that stone were a translation true and 
faithful of the characters on the plates underneath the 
stone, he told a lie. 

I. As they proceed with their work of translating, 
the stone is placed upon a character, and behold, there 
appears on the top of the stone a passage from our Bible; 
and it is in the language of our King James' version, 
precisely as it was translated by the EngHsh bishops 200 
years ago. 

Now, that sentence on top of the stone is either a 
translation of the characters under the stone, or it is not. 
If it is a translation made under the authority and by 
the direction of an angel of God, then we are confront- 
ed with this wonderful phenomenon, that the angel should 
translate exactly as those English bishops ^ not varying 
in a single word, although there are several thousand 
whole verses of this character, thus stamping, as you 
see, with heaven's seal the work of those grand old 
bishops, proving that they were infallible, absolutely so, 
never having made a single mistake, the angel agreeing 
with them in every instance, even to the wording of their 

♦And the wonder will only be increased when we learn that all the quo- 
tations from the Old Testament made orior to the appearance of Christ heie 
upon this continent — that is, all the direct Bible quotations found in the book 
from the first to the 450th pagfe — are translated from orig-inal brass plates en- 
^rax'ed in the pure Egyptian lanoruage\ plates broujj^ht by Nephi from the city 
of Jerusalem 600 years before Christ, 

Just think of it! Those bishops, 200 years ago, translated from a He- 
brew text that has been handed down to us from g-eneration to g^eneration, 
copied and recopied a thousand times over, perhaps; and their translation 
from such a Hebrew text is found to accord exactly, even to the minutest par- 
ticular, with a translation made by an ang^el direct from Eg-yiJtian plates 2600 
years old; less one sing^Ie transcription, and that made by the inspired prophet 
Mormon —See pages 10, 11, 63 and 154. 


But the scholarship of the world has over and over 
again declared that those men were 7iot mfallible; that they 
did make a large number of mistakes; no very serious 
ones it is true, nothing that changes any great doctrine 
of the Bible; but, nevertheless, faults enough to keep 
them humble, and show that they were only human. 
And if I mistake not, our Mormon friends, in their Ar- 
ticles of Faith, say, *'We believe the Bible to be the word 
of God, as far as it is translated correctly y^^ intimating 
that it was not altogether translated correctly; whereas, 
the testimony of this stone and the angel is that the 
translation is absolutely perfect, without fault 

If, on the other hand, that passage appearing on the 
top of the stone is not a translation of the characters 
underneath the stone, but is simply quoted word for 
word from our Bible, then the whole claim is prevent false. 
For if in one ijistaiice the sentence appearing on top of 
the stone does not represent perfectly and exactly the 
characters underneath — is not a bonfide translation, then 
the same thing might occur in a thousand instances; in 
fact, in every instance, so that the characters under- 
neath the stone need have no connection whatever with 
the words that appear on top. In other words, if Joseph 
Smith, in several thousand instances, went outside of the 
plates underneath his stone for his sentences, went di- 
rectly to our Bible and quoted from it, what proof have 
we that he did not go outside of the plates for every other 
sente7ice found in the Book of Mormon? 

2, The second fact I wish to present in proof of the 
deception practiced by the angel is this: According 
to the testimony of the eye-witnesses, there were only 
plates enough to lurnish about one eighth or one tenth of 
the contents of the Book of Mormon, upon the most liberal 
estimate possible. 


Mr. Martin Harris describes the size of the plates. 
— See Myth of M. F., page 89: 

"He pointed with one of the fingers of his left hand to 
the back of his right hand and said, *I should think they 
were about so long,' or about eight inches." 

The plates were, then, about eight inches long. Mr. 
Harris does not give their width, but they are understood 
to have been about seven inches wide. 

The specimen of Egyptian words shown on page 
71 will sufficiently illustrate a well known fact, that both 
the Egyptian hieroglyphics and their written words are, 
many of them, the large majority of them, large sprawl- 
ing characters that occupy a great deal of space on a 
page. I suppose it would hardly be possible to get as 
much matter on a page of Egyptian characters as you 
could get on a page of ordinary hand writmp^. As com- 
pared with fine printed matter, such as is found in the 
Book of Mormon, it would probably require not less 
than four or five such plates to make one page of closely 
printed matter. . 

But I remember those characters were not all Egypt- 
ian; the specimens copied for the examination of the 
outside world are said to be made up, in part, of Hebrew 
and Arabic characters, both of which are able to be writ- 
ten in a much smaller compass than the Egyptian. As 
printed from type, the Hebrew is capable of being com- 
pressed into nearly as small a compass as a printed page 
of English. Of course, when written by hand or en- 
graven upon plates, it could hardly be put into so small 
a compass. 

But for the sake of the argument, we will suppose 
one page of the plates could furnish material for a full 
page of closely set, small type, such as the Book of Mor- 


mon. There are 563 pages in the Book of Mormon, 
which would therefore require 563 plates; probably, 1500 
would be far nearer the truth. 

Let us now see if we can ascertain anything near the 
probable number of plates used. Mr. Harris is quoted 
as saying (See Myth of M. F., page 89.): 

"He pointed with one of the fiagers of his left hand to 
the back of his right hand and said, *I should think they 
were so long,' or about eight incbes, *and about so thick,* 
or about four inches; *and each of the plates was thick- 
er than the thickest tin.' " 

This informs us that when these plates were laid to- 
gether in a pile, they made a pile about four inches thick; 
and that each plate was thicker thaji the thickest tiji, I 
called at a hardware store the other day, and witb 
the help of a clerk, measured the thickness of some tin, 
not the thickest, but aUttle more than medium thickness; 
and we found it required sixty plates of this tin to viake 
one inch. But Mr. Harris says these plates were thicker 
than the thickest tin. (They would need to be thus thick 
to form a sufficient body for the work of the engraver.) 
It would then be a very liberal estimate to suppose there 
wereyf/?)/ of these plates to the inch, or a total 0(200 plates 
in the pile of four inches — that is, plates enough to 
furnish material for 200 pages of the Book of Mormon. 

But here is a witness who lets in a little more light. 

I read from Myth of M. F., page 82: 

"The plates which Mr. Whitmer saw were in the shape 
of a tablet, fastened with three riags, about one-third of which 
appeared to be loose in plates, the other solid, but with per- 
ceptible marks where the plates seemed to be sealed, and the 
guide that pointed it out to Smith very impressively remind- 
ed him that the loose plates alone were to be ussd, the 
sealed portion was not to be tampered with." 

Several other testimonies are to the same effect. 
Mr. Harris, for instance, says (Ibid, page 88): 


**And as many of the plates as Joseph Smith translated, 
I handled with my hands, plate after plate." 

Instead, then, of having all the plates which together 
mdike a pile/otir inc/ies thick, there were actually used only 
about ^/z<?-M2>^ of the plates ; the balance, or two-thirds, 
remained sealed up for future use. One-third of 200 
plates would be sixty-six or sixty-seven plates; the total 
number, therefore, from which a book of 563 pages of 
closely printed matter was derived. Sixty-seven, in- 
stead of 563 plates, which is the lowest possible estimate, 
while 1500 is the more probable one. 

J. But there is still a third statement in proof that 
the contents of the Book of Mormon did not come from 
the plates. It is the statement of Mr. David Whitmer al- 
ready read that **frequently one character would make 
two lines of manuscript, while others made but a word 
or two words. 

We can readily believe this statement. A man who 
could read several thousand verses from the King James' 
version of the Bible out of the characters on those 
plates, could easily read two lines of manuscript, or a 
dozen lines, if desired, from one character. But the 
above is an exceedingly unfortunate admission. It is 
true, as I tried to illustrate in the second lecture, that 
the Hebrew characters are often very expressive and 
comprehensive, frequently requiring two and three and 
possibly four words in our language to correctly translate 
one Hebrew character. But a man who has ever trans- 
lated from any of the ancient languages would smile with 
credulity if you should tell him that 'frequently one 
character would make two lines of manuscript," unless, 
indeed, the lines were very short, or the words wonder- 
fully drawn out, so that three or four words at the most 
could occupy two full lines. It was simply impossible, 


friends, that one character could ever make two full lines 
of ordinary manuscript. 

4. One other fact and I will close this examination 
for the present. 

Let me read you again from the testimony of Mar- 
tin Harris: 

*'Marfcin Harris related an incident that occurred daring 
the time that tie wrote that portion of the translation of the 
Book of Mormon, which he was favored to write direct from 
the mouth of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He said that the 
Prophet possessed a seer stone, by which he was enabled to 
translate as well as from the Urim and Thummim, and for 
convenience he then used the seer stone." — Myth of the M. F., 
page 91. 

It seems almost too bad that he should thus inad- 
vertantly give the whole thing away. For you must un- 
derstand that the Urim and Thummim spoken of, and 
called throughout the Book of Mormon **the Interpre- 
ters/' had been provided with great care over 2500 
year ago by God himself, for the express purpose of 
translating these plates. They are often mentioned in 
the Book of Mormon as exceedingly important. They 
were preserved with the greatest care, handed down 
from one generation to another with the plates, and bur- 
ied with them in the hill Cumorah over 1400 years ago; 
as sacred as the plates themselves. So sacred that only 
one man was allowed to handle or use them, the highly 
favored prophet, Joseph Smith, himself But now, alas! 
after all this trouble and pains and care on the part of 
God, and on the part of so many holy men of old, this 
'*Urim and Thummim*' is found at last to be altogether 
superflous; 7iot needed at alL Martin Harris tells us that 
the Prophet Joseph Smith possessed a ''seer stone,'' a 
sort of ''peep stone,'' by which he was enabled to trans- 
late as well 2.^ from the Urim and Thummim; and, "for 


convenience y he used the seer stone. " So we are left to 
infer that when he used the Urim and Thummim at all, 
it was at some inconvenience. And he probably only did 
it out of regard to the feelings of his God, who had spent 
so much time and anxiety in preparing it so long ago, 
and preserving it to the present day for his special use. 

(The closing sentences of this lecture were left out 
after it had been decided to publish a fourth lecture.) 


(This lecture, in substance, was delivered by special re- 
quest at the Walker Opera House, Sabbath Evening, July 26.) 

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are 
your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my 
ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your 
thoughts."- Isaiah, 55: 8, 9. 

/. A few of the mistakes of the Book of Mormon : 

a. Some of the types presented in the Book of Mor- 
mon contradict the plain teachings of the Bible. 

For instance, the Bible type for the word of God 
itself is water, pure living water. It is used thus, prob- 
ably, in a hundred places. So complete is the type, 
that we are able to trace its likeness through nearly all 
the various uses of water. 

Water is used for cleansing purposes^ so the word 
of God. — See Psalms, 119: 9; 2nd Cor., 7: i; ist Peter, 
i: 22; John, 17: 17, and 15: 3; Eph., 5: 26, 27, and 

Water is used for quenching thirsty so the word of 
God. — See Isaiah, 55: i; John, 7: 37, and 4: 10, 14, and 
6: 35; Rev., 21: 6, and 22: 17, and others. 

Water is used for reviving nature^ so the word of 
God. — See Isaiah, 55: 10, 11; Ezk., 47: 1-12; Psalms, 
i: 2, 3; ist Cor., 3: 6, compared with Acts, 18: 24, 28. 


Now please bear in mind, friends, that God never 
uses a word by chance, never puts a word in simply to 
fill up, or round out a sentence as we often do. Every 
type chosen is carefully and wisely chosen. And God 
never mixes things, never confuses by using a typical 
word in a variety of senses, making it mean one thing in 
one passage and another thing in another passage. If 
pure living water is found to be a type of the word of 
God in one passage, then we have found a key that will 
unlock every passage where pure living water is used in 
a typical sense. It alwi^ys means the word of God, never 
anything else. 

But on page 20, Nephi, 3: 17, we have this state- 

*'And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron 
which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led 
to the fountain of living waters, ur to the tree of life; which 
waters are a representation of the love of (^od; and I also be- 
held that the tree of life was a representation of the love of 

At least three errors in this one sentence. /. He 
makes a rod of iron a type of the word of God, and re- 
peats the same statement on page 31. 2. He makes 
living water a type of the love of God, and then: j. Im- 
mediately mixes types by saying that the tree of life rep- 
resents the love of God. 

But upon page 32, he changes his mind as to the 
meaning of water: 

**And they said nnto me, what meaneth the river of water 
which our father saw ? And I said unto them that the water 
which my father saw was filthiness: and so much was his 
mind swallowed up in other things that be beheld not the 
filthiness of the water." 

Think of it! A man inspired by the Holy Spirit 
and helped constantly by an angel of God having his 


mind so much "swallowed up in other things'* that he 
entirely mistakes the character of the water which he 
saw; and it is left for this young son of his, inspired by 
the same spirit and helped by the same angel, to correct 
his father^ s mistake. 

But the young man, Nephi, has a very fruitful 
mind. After telling us that the river of water meant 
fiithiness, immediately concludes he has not yet exhaust- 
ed his subject and therefore adds: 

"And I said unto them, that it, (this river of water), was 
an awful giilf which separated the wicked from th« tree of 
life, and also from the saints of God." 

Now, friends, to the careful student of the Bible, 
who learns how exceedingly careful its statements, how 
wisely chosen, and then how uniformly adhered to from 
Genesis to Revelations, are its types and symbols^ this 
one instance of mixture and change and uncertainty is 
sufficient to brand the book as a fraud, when it pretends 
to have come from the all wise and unchangeable God. 

b. The Bible tells us plainly and positively that the 
Holy Spirit as a person, the third person in the God- 
head, was not given to the world until Jesus himself had 
come in the flesh and accomplished his mission. The 
Holy Spirit is sometimes mentioned in the Old Testa- 
ment. His work in the creation of the world is alluded 
to in the very first chapter of Genesis; his work in in- 
spiring the Old Testament scriptures is positively stated 
in 2nd Peter, i: 21. But his work was not understood 
by the Old Testament saints. As Jesus was actively at 
work all through the Old Testament history, was in fact 
the Jehovah, the Lord of the Old Testament, but was 
not known as a separate and distinct personality, not 
revealed as the only begotten son, till he came here in 


the flesh; so the Holy Spirit, though actively at work, 
was not known as a separate person, his real office and 
work were not understood, until the dispensation of the 
spirit was ushered in on the day of Pentacost, and he 
was revealed in his fullness of blessing. In fact, the 
third person could not be revealed to men before the seco7id 
person, the Lord Jesus, had been manifested. Upon this 
point, the statements of the New Testament are very 
plain and positive: 

"But this spake he of the spirit, which they that believe 
on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; 
because that Jesus was not yet glorified."— JohD, 7: 39. 

A very positive statement that the **Holy Ghost was 
not yet given," and the reason stated, * 'because that 
Jesus was not yet glorified." Peter, on the day of Pen- 
tacost, says expressly: 

"Therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, and 
having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, 
he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear,"— Acts, 
2: 33; see verses 16 and 18. 

Equally conclusive are the words of the Savior: 

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for 
you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will 
not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto 
you."— John, 16: 7; see also John, 14: 16, 26; and 15: 26; and 
16: 13. 

Well now, in the face of these positive statements 
of the New Testament, hear what Nephi says nearly 6oo 
years before Christ. After telHng his people, in pro- 
phecy, of the baptism of the Lord Jesus, and the Holy 
Ghost descending upon him in the form of a dove, he 
adds, (Pages no, in; 2nd Nephi, 13: 2-5.): 

"And also the voice of the son came unto me saying, he 
that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the 
Holy Ghost, like unto me. 


* * * "Yea, by following your Lord and Savior down 
into the water, according to his word, behold then shall ye re- 
ceive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire 
and of the Holy Ghost, and then can ye speak with the 
tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of 

* * * "Yea, ye have entered in by the gate : ye have 
done according to the commandments of the Father and the 
Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesseth 
of the Father and the Son." 

And such statements are over and over again re- 
peated all through the book, with all the accompanying 
extraordinary gifts that followed the day of Pentacost, 
and many more: 

"Yeaj having been favoured above every other nation, 
kindred, tongue and people; having been visited by the spirit 
of God; having conversed with angels, and having been spok- 
en unto by the voice of the Lord; and having the spirit of pro- 
phecy, and the spirit of revelation and also many gifts: the 
gift of speaking with tongues, and the gift of preaching, and 
the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of translation, etc. — 
Page234; Alma, 7:2. 

In his desire to *^ beat the Bible,'* and exalt his 
pet Nephites to Heaven with privileges that no other 
people on earth possessed, our author should have been 
careful, and not so flatly contradict the plain statements 
of the New Testament, which he professes to receive 
with all reverence as the word of God. 

c. King Jacob tells us on page 120, that a ** hun- 
dredth part of the proceedings of this people, which now 
began to be numerous, cannot be written upon these 
plates; but many of their proceedings are written upon 
the larger plates, and their wars and their contentions 
and the reigns of their kings." 

Fifty-five years before this statement, Jacob's father, 
Lehi, left Jerusalem with his wife and four boys, all 
unmarried. Another family, consisting of Ishmael and 


wife, two sons and several daughters, were induced to 
accompany them. One other man, Zerum, who had 
been a slave of Laban, made up the total outfit. 

During the first ten years, those four boys and the 
slave appear to have married those girls, while 
two other boys, Jacob and Joseph, are added to the 
original family of Lehi* If during the next ten years 
each of the five young families multiply as rapidly 
as possible, we cannot count more than from 30 
to 40 young children, and during the next ten years the 
third decade, the largest possible increase would not 
reach 50 more children. So that at the end oi thirty 
years we have twelve grown people and from 75 to 90 
children — of whom there are possibly from 10 to 15 who 
have reached the age of 20 years, and may possibly iiave 

And friends, it was during this last decade, between 
twenty and thirty years after leaving Jerusalem, pro- 
bably about twenty-two or twenty-three years after, 
when there was a possible population of between 50 and 
60 persons, nearly all of whom are small children, that 
this company divide into two nations. The two oldest 
brothers, Laman and Lemuel, with their families, and the 
two sons of Ishmael, under the general designation of 
LamaniteSy remain in South America, and elect a king ! 
while the balance, under the direction of Nephi, at the 
command of God, strike off into the wilderness in the 
direction of North America, choose Nephi as their 
king, and assume the name of Nephites! — and before 
the first thirty years have expired, that is in about seven 
or eight years, this little colony have subdued the forests, 
become wealthy in flocks and herds, been taught by 
Nephi to 


"Build buildings; and to work in all manner of wood, 
and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel (?),and 
of grold and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in 
great abundance." 

And in addition to all this, he had built and com- 
pleted a temple: 

"And I did construct it after the manner of the temple 
of Solomon, save it were not built of so many precious things; 
for they were not to be found upon the land*; wherefore, it 
could not be built like unto Solomon's temple. But the 
manner of the construction was like unto the temple of 
Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceeding 

Pretty good for three men and a few boys! Solo- 
mon's temple was seveii years in building, and required 
153,000 laborers and 30,000 overseers — see ist Kings 5: 
13-16, and 6: 37-38. 

After the completion of this magnificent temple, Nephi 
consecrates his two youngest brothers, Jacob and Joseph, 
though now scarcely more than twenty years old, to the 
office of the priesthood: 

"And it came to pass that!, Nephi, did consecrate Jacob 
and Joseph that they should be priests and teachers over the 
landf of my people." 

In doing this he directly broke two very plain re- 
quirements of the Mosaic law. i. That none but the 
tribe of Levi were eligible to the priesthood — these men 
being from the tribe ol Mannaseh. 2. That no one 
should be permitted to discharge the duties of a priest 
till thirty years of age. We should remember, however, 
that this small nation had but little timber as yet to 

* He has all manner of wood, iron, copper, brass, steel, g-old, silver, and 
precious ores in g^reat abundance: precisely what "precious things" he 
needed aside from all these, does not clearly appear. 

t They certainly had plenty of land to be priests and teachers over, 
but the people were scarce. 


select from. Nephi himself was king and general high 
priest — his brother Samuel and the slave Zerum were 
the subjects, and so these two boys, Jacob and Joseph, 
were all tnere were left for priests except the small 
children who had been born within the two previous 

And friends, it is during the next twenty- five years 
that these two imposing nations, the Nephites and the 
Lamanites, had so many wars and contentions, shed so 
much blood, and made so much history, that Jacob tells 
us in the passage above quoted that 

" A hundredth part of the proceedings of this people 
caanot be written upon these plates ! and that many of their 
proceedings are written upon the larger plates, and their 
wars, and their contentions, and the reigns of their kings." 

A love of the marvellous, combined with a some- 
what stoical indifference to the ridiculous, must surely 
have been a prominent and important factor in the 
mental make-up of our author! 

d. On page 139, Omni. 1:6, 7, we are told of a 
party of Nephites, under the leadership of one Mosiah, 
who fled out of their own land, and, after wandering a 
long time through the wilderness, discovered a land 
called the land oi Zarahemla, inhabited by a people who 
came out from Jerusalem only a few years after Lehi and 
his company; and, like Lehi, had been brought by the 
hand of the Lord across the great waters, and had settled 
on this continent, and increased until they had become 
a numerous and wealthy people. And please note the 
following statement: — 

And they (Mosiah and his company) discovered a people 
who were called the people of Zarahemla. Now there was 
great rejoicings among the people of Zarahemla; and also 
Zarahemla (the king) did rejoice exceedingly because the 


Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass 
wbich contaiued the record of the Jews." 

In the very next section the author, evidently for- 
getting what he had just said, flatly contradicts it: 

*' A nd aUKhe time Mosiah discovered them * * their 
language had become Cf)rrupted; and they bad brongbt no 
records with them; and they denied tbe being of their <^'re- 
ator; and Me)siah nor the people of Mosiah could understand 

In the first sentence Zarahemla and his people re- 
joice because the Lord had sent this party of strangers 
to them. In the next sentence we are told that Zara- 
hemla and his \)^o^\e'' dented the beiv^ of their Creator ^ 

In the first sentence we are still farther informed 
that the special reason of their rejoicing was because 
Mosiah and his company had brought the brass plates 
containing the record of the Jews. 

In the next sentence we are told that their lajiguage 
had become so corrupted that neither Mosiah nor his 
people could Jtnderstand them/ 

Friends, do you think this part of the Book of 
Morman was inspired of God? 

There are other discrepancies and contradictions 
that can be explained upon no other theory so charitable 
as to suppose that the author had a poor memory, or else 
that his love of the marvellous ran away with his judg- 
ment, and sometimes even with his regard for the truth. 
For an instance of real bold lying, lying that has a 
wicked purpose in it, see page 25*. But the limits of 

♦Reference is had to the stsrenient, four or five times repeated on the 
one pajre, that after the Aposth s* d.iv, a jrre-Ht and abominable church "took 
away from the Gospel of the L:imh of God many parts which are plain and 
most precious; and nlso m;my covenants of the Lord." In other words, that 
by the authority of the church, after the time of the Apostles, or some time 
alter the first centurv, the Bible had much that was valuable — "the plain and 
most precious parts" taken awav Irom it; so much eliminated that "an exceed- 
ingly great many do stumble, "etc. In this unfounded, malicious statement, 
the author shows himself as utterly devoid of principle as he was ignorant of 
the plainest facts oi historv. It is susceptible of the clearest proof that since 
the first century not a chapter has been taken out of the Bible. 


this lecture will not allow a farther consideration of this 
first point. 

2. I wish, in the second place, briefly to call atten- 
tion to the peculiar character of the so callogl prophecies 
of the Book of Mormon. They are put in the precise 
lajiguage that records their fulfillment. A most singu- 
lar and unheard of phenomenon ! You will best under- 
stand me by noting a few specimens out of the hundreds 
that are found in the book. Nephi gives us the follow- 
ing specimen of his father Lehi's prophesying (Page 
17; Nephi, 3: 3, 5): 

"Yea, even 600 years from the time that my father left 
Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up amonof the 
Jews; even a Messiah; or in other words, a Savior of the 

"And he spake also concerning a prophet who should 
come before the Messiah, to prepare the way of the Lord ; 
yea, even he should go forth and cry in the wilderness, pre- 
pare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; 
for there standeth one among you whom ye know not; and he 
is mightier than I, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to 
unloose. And much spake my father concerning this thing. 

"And my father said he should baptize in Bethabara be- 
yond Jordan ^ * * and after he had baptized the Mes- 
siah with water, he should behold and bear record that he 
had baptized the Lamb of God, who should take away the 
sin of the world." 

Afterwards, Nephi himself prophecies after this 
fashion (Pages 20, 21): 

*'And I beheld the redeemer of the world of whom my 
father had spoken; and I also beheld the prophet who should 
prepare the way before him. And the Lamb of God went 
forth and was baptized of him; and after he was baptized, I 
beheld the heavens open, and the Holy Ghost came down out 
of heaveu and abode upon him in the form of a dove. 

"And he spake unto me again saying, look! and I looked 
and I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who 
were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils 
and unclean spirits; and they were healed by the power of 
the Lamb of God. 


*'And I looked, and beheld the Lamb of God, that he 
was taken by the people * * * and I, Nephi, saw that he 
was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the 

And thus I might quote hundreds of passages re- 
lating to Christ, telling his name, his mother's name, 
his place of residence, his reputed father's name, the par- 
ticulars of his life and death, and the after history of the 
church as related in the New Testament, or revealed in 
the book of Revelations, very much of it in the exact 
language of the New Testament. And the same thing 
is true of the prophecies that relate to the present time. 
All about Joseph Smith, his name, his father's n^ame, how 
he shall find those old plates, the witnesses who shall see 
them, the ''spokesman," Sidney Rigdon, provided to aid 
him, etc., etc., all with as much particularity and minute- 
ness of detail as though the prophecies had all been 
gotten up after the events had t7'anspired, as they un- 
doubtedly WERE. 

And, indeed, it seems strange that the originators of 
the Book of Mormon were not sharp enough to cover 
up their fraud a little more carefully, but furnish upon 
ahnost every page the materials for their exposure. 

How different the prophecies of the Bible. Any 
approach to exact literalness is apparently studiously 
avoided. The greater portion of the Old Testament 
prophecies that relate to Christ are in types \ the old tab- 
ernacle and temple, its priesthood and their work, and 
the entire system of bloody sacrifices of meat and drink 
offerings, are all prophecies of Christ and the Christian 

Another common method of revealing the future is 
by symbol. A good illustration of this method was pre- 
sented in the second lecture. The four beasts seen by 


the prophet Daniel presented in a remarkably brief com- 
pass a prophetic outline of the history of the four leading 
nations of the world for a period of over two thousand 
years. A large part of the Book of Revelations is occupied 
with this style of prophesying, so is Ezekiel. In fact, 
this method abounds in all the prophecies of the Bible. 
I can recall but one single instance in the Bible where a 
man*s name is given prophetically. The Persian king, 
CyniSy was called by name, by the prophet Isaiah, nearly 
I CD years before his birth. But this kind of literalness 
is the exception. John the Baptist's prophetic name was 
Elijah or Elias. Even Jesus, himself, is not mentioned 
by name in any of the Old Testament prophecies. Good 
old Jacob called him "Shiloh;" the prophet Zechariah 
named him the * 'Branch;" another, the **Rose of Sha- 
ron," the **Lily of the Valley," the ''Lord our Righte- 
ousness," the "Sun of Righteousness," etc. 

But in the Book of Mormon, Jesus' first announce- 
ment of himself in this country, one hundred years after 
the flood, runs thus: 

"Behold I am he who was prepared from the foundation 
of the world to redeem my people; behold I am Jesus Christ, 
I am the Father and tlie 8on." 

The most literal prophecy in the Old Testament 
relating to Christ is the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah. 
Let me read you a portion of the verses: 

1. *'Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the 
arm of the Lord revealed? 

2. "For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, 
and as a root oat ot a dry ground; ha hath no form nor come- 
liness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that 
we should desire him. 

3. *'fTe is despised and rejected of men; a man of sor- 
rows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our 
faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 

7. *'He was oppressed, and he was afflicted; yet he 
opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaugh- 


ter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth 
not his mouth. 

9. "Arid he made his gfrave with the wicked, and with 
the rich in his death, because he had done no violence, 
neither was any deceit in his mouth." 

And do you know, friends, that although this chap- 
ter was never called in question by the Jews before 
Christ came, yet after he had lived and died, and had 
fulfilled both in his life and death so exactly and perfect- 
ly every statement made in this chapter, such is their 
hatred of the Savior that many Jews, even to the pres- 
ent day, have tried to persuade themselves that this one 
chapter has been interpolated into their sacred books. 
And infidels, too, from the very beginning of the Christ- 
ian era to our own day, have exhausted every means in 
their power to write that one chapter out of the prophe- 
cies of Isaiah, and persuade themselves it must have 
been written after the events, so plainly foretold, had oc- 
curred. And yet, the evidence is abundant that that 
chapter, with all the rest of the book, was in existence 
just as we now find it, at least 200 years bejore Christ 
came m the flesh. The translation of the Old Testa- 
ment Hebrew into the Greek language, at Alexandria, 
Egypt, two hundred years before Christ, and the preser- 
vation of that translation by channels widely diverse 
and wholy independent of the original Hebrew, fur- 
nishes evidence that the scholarship of the world has 
never been able to successfully refute. 

But now suppose this fifty-third chapter of Isaiah 
had been written after this fashion: 

"I, Isaiah, a prophet of the Lord, and inspired by an 
angel from heaven, do hereby declare unto you, my beloved 
brethren, that in just 712 years from this date, a virgin by the 
name of Mary, living in the city of Nazareth, shall give birth 
to a son, whose name shall be Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, 
the Savior of the world. This child, Jesus Christ, shall live 


until tkirty years old with his reputed father, Joseph by 
name, and a carpenter by trade. At the age of thirty, he shall 
find his forerunner, John the Baptist, at a place called Beth- 
abara, beyond the river Jordan, baptizing by immersion all 
who come to him. After Jesus is baptized, the heavens shall 
be opened, and the Holy Ghost shall be seen descending in 
bodily shape like a dove and resting upon him, and a voice 
from heaven shall be heard saying, this is my beloved son, 
hear ye him. After his baptism, he shall enter upon his pub- 
lic ministry, calling twelve men to be with him, whom he 
shall name apostles, and one of whom shall bear the name of 
John, and shall write a book that shallbe called the Apoca- 
lypse, etc., etc." 

Had we found this one chapter of Isaiah thus writ- 
ten, in language and style entirely different from every 
other chapter in the book, without a trace of the ancient 
Hebrew preserved, but instead, an exact reproduction of 
the New Testament Greek, idioms and all; do you think 
any sane man on earth could be found willing to accept 
it as a genuine production of the prophet Isaiah? 

But let us go a step further in the supposed case. 
Suppose this chapter, written in the style just suggested, 
is a modern discovery altogether. A man in our day 
professes to have found some ancient writings engraven 
upon old plates. The discoverer is an ignorant man, 
knows nothing of either ancient or modern languages, 
and hence, has no possible means of knowing whether 
these plates he has found contain real ancient writings 
or simply unmeaning scrawls that somebody has scratch- 
ed upon those plates for their own amusement, or for 
the express purpose of imposing upon his credulity and 
ignorance. And suppose our discoverer carefully and 
studiously keeps those plates hid from the public eye, 
refuses to allow a single scholar to examine them, or any 
person at all competent to judge of their real character, 
but claims that an angel from heaven is directing him in 
the matter. 


And by and by there is published to the world a 
pretended translation of those plates, stating that the 
said plates ate a part of the original book of Isaiah, the 
prophet; that a lost chapter is now restored to the world 
by the help of an angel of God. 

But upon examination, this pretended lost chapter, 
translated by this ignorant man, helped by his angel, is 
found to be made up exclusively from our present Eng- 
lish version of the New Testament, copied word for word 
from the history of Jesus Christ as we now have it recorded 
by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — a feat that any 
Sunday-school scholar of ordinary intelligence could 
perform without any inspiration from God, or special 
help from an angel. Such prophecies can be manufac- 
tured to order by the cart load. And yet precisely this 
is the character of a large portion of the prophecies of 
the Book of Mormon. And you and I, friends, are 
asked to believe that such a silly and transparent fraud 
is from God. 

J. In the third and last place, I desire briefly to call 
attention to a few of the reputed miracles of the Book of 
Mormon. Several were mentioned in the third lecture: 

a. The first to be mentioned this evening occurred 
in immediate connection with the separation between 
Nephi and his two brothers, Laman and Lemuel, and 
the organization of the two infant but rival nations already 
referred to, between twenty and thirty years after leav- 
ing Jerusalem. 

The miracle is certainly one of the most remarkable 
of the ages, settling one of the mooted questions of four- 
hundred years standing: ''How came the American In- 


dian with a black skinf (The American Indian is the 
reputed descendant of the Lamanites.) 

Nephi tells us that his two brothers, with their fami- 
lies, because of their opposition to Nephi, and their gen- 
eral depravity, became the subjects of a peculiar curse, 
— Page 66, 2nd Nephi, 4: 4: 

"For behold they had hardonei their hearts aorainst him, 
that they had become like unto a flint; wlier<-f()re as they 
were white, and exceeding fair and delisfhtsome, that they 
might not be enticinsf unto my people, the Lord God did 
cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. And thus 
saith the Lord God, I will cause that they nhall be Joath- 
some unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniqui- 
ties. And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with 
their seed; for they shall be cursed even wilh the same curs- 
ing. And the Lord spake it and it was done." 

It is strange what peculiar favorites of Heaven this 
Nephi and his people were, that God should be willing, 
for the sole purpose of removing temptation from them, 
" that they might not be enticing unto my people,*' to 
curse his own brothers with a skin of blackness. It is 
something God never did for any other people under 
heaven. He never exhibited such tender care for the 
Jeivs in all the Old Testament history. The New Tes- 
tament furnishes no incidents of this character. The 
early Christians, in their best and purest days, had no 
such favors shown them. And, so far as we can learn, 
the Lord has never " caused a skin of blackness to come 
upon" any Gentile of modern times, to prevent their 
" becoming enticing to my people,'' the Latter-day 
Saints. All God's other saints, in all the ages, have 
been left to grapple with temptations. The notion some- 
how has pervaded the divine mind that strong tempta- 
tions and fiery trials were needful to strengthen the faith 
and purify the life of his people; and, therefore, he has 
allowed his people — all his other people except these 


Nephites — to meet sin face to face with all its blandish- 
ments; to live among and mingle freely with those who 
were ** white and exceeding fair and delightsome," with- 
out any such tender precaution as to turn their temptors' 
skin black and make them loathsome, least his dear 
people should be coaxed into sin by their enticements ! 

If there could be anything more silly or preposter- 
ous than this, it is found on page 436, Nephi, i: 9, oc- 
curring over five hundred years after the above: 

"And it came to pass that those Lamanites who bad 
united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites, 
and their curse was taken from them, and their skin became 
white like unto the Nephites; and their young men and their 
daughters became exceeding fair, and they were numbered 
among the Nephites, and were called Nephites." 

Wonderful! Wonderful! When a black man is 
soundly converted and unites himself with the people of 
God, the curse is removed, and he becomes white like 
the Nephites! Is'nt it so? Certainly, God is no 
respector of persons. He is not partial in the bestow- 
ment of his favors. Would he remove the curse once, 
and in one portion of the world, and never do it again? 
Why, then, in all the history of the world was such a 
phenonema never heard of, that the color of the skin was 
changed in conversion? Have the unfortunate colored 
people anywhere on earth, in all the history of the past, 
been made white by conversion? Ah! but I forget. In 
the estimation of our Mormon friends there have been 
no true conversions since the first century after Christ 
until now. But in the very first age of the Church there 
were multitudes of the Ethiopians converted. Do you 
think the eunuch became white after Phillip baptized 
him? And now, in the last days, since the fullness of 
the Gospel has been restored to the earth by the Latter- 


day Saints, and scores and hundreds from the Indian 
races, the colored people, Asiatics, Sandwich Islanders, 
&c., have been soundly and thoroughly converted, has 
the skin of any of these converts been made white by 
the change any farther than soap and water would 
whiten them? PViends, produce your specimens, show 
us one single instance of the bleaching power of con- 
version upon the skin, or else hang your heads for 
shame, that you have allowed yourself to believe that 
such silly twaddle as this could be the word of Him who 
is the same yesterday^ to-day y and for ever. 

b. A little affair, too unimportant to be noticed, 
were it not that it flatly contradicts a rule which the 
world in general, and all biblical scholars in particular, 
have taken for granted without a question, because it so 
fully accords, not only with human reason and common 
sense, but with all the examples of the Bible, and all the 
records of God*s dealings with his people. The rule is 
this: In the performance of a miracle, God 7iever does 
for us what we can do for ourselves. He cultivates self- 
reliance and independence to that degree that he always 
employs human agency, human hands, and human 
brains, as far as they can be employed; and the divine 
aid comes in only where the utmost of hicman effort fails 
to reach. All that man can do he is expected to do. 
God only does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. 
But upon page 37, Nephi, 5:21, we have this statement: 

"And after I had made a bellows that I might have 
wherewith to blow the fire, I did smite two stones together, 
that I might make fire; for the Lord had not hitherto suf- 
fered that we should make much fire, as we journeyed in the 
wilderness; for he said, I will make thy food become sweet, 
that ye cook it not; and I also will be your light in the wild- 

I think comment upon this is not needful. There 


was no lack of wood for fire in the wilderness, no lack of 
stones to smite together, but simply to prove to them 
that they are the Lord's special pets, he saves them the 
trouble of making fire by performing the prodigious 
miracle of making raw meat sweet and palatable, and of 
furnishing them hght in the wilderness for their evening 

Of a similar character is a little occurrence related 
just before, page 35. It is usually supposed that a little 
common sense would be sufficient to tell a man who had 
spent some time traveling in a wild, mountainous region, 
about where he would naturally go to find wild game, if 
he wishes to hunt. But Nephi's God is so unusually 
good to him, that he takes the trouble to write the di- 
rections upon the pointers in a certain bal', called the 
'^Director," (and which I will presently explain): 

"And I said unto my father, whiiher shall Tgo to obtain 
food? And it came to pass Ihat I did enquire of the Lord. 

" * * * And it came to pass that the voice 
of the Lord said unto me, look upon the ball, and behold ihe 
tilings which are written. * * * ^.nd it came to 
pass that I, Nephi, did gro forth up into the top of the moun- 
tain, according to the directions which were given upon the 
ball. And it came to pass that I did slay wild beasts, inso- 
much that I did obtnin food for our families: and it came to 
pass that I did return* to our tents, bearing the beasts which 
I had slain." 

c. But let me tell you about this strange ball, page 


"And it came to pass that the voice of the Lerd spake 
unto my father by night, and commanded him that on the 
morrow he should take his journey into the wilderness. And 
it came to pass, that as my father arose in the morning and 
went forth to the tent door, to his great astonishment he be- 
held upon the ground, a round ball of curious work- 

* Whs the help o( an anarol needed to tell us that he returned to his tent 
after a successful hunt? Would God lumber his book with statements that a 
writer of ordinary intelligence would take for granted without recording. 


mansliip, and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were 
two spindles; and the one pointed the way whit her we should 
go into the wilderness." 

And they start into the wilderness, '^following the 
directions of the ball, which led us in the more fertile 
parts of the wilderness. ' ' 

Here, friends, is a round ball, made of fine brass, 
and within it are two spindles, one of which points out 
constantly '*the way whither we should go into the wild- 
erness." Just how they could see spindles inside of a 
round brass ball, does not appear. However, as it was 
of curious workmanship, this may have been one of the 
curious things about it, we will therefore pass this as an 
unexplained wonder. 

But those two spindles within this ball are the real 
puzzles. The author calls them spindles h(tve, but on the 
next page he calls them pointers. Either word would 
indicate that they must have been small affairs, not cap- 
able of holding a very large amount of reading matter. 
But see page 35: 

*'And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the pointers 
which were in the ball, that they did work according to the 
faith, and diligence, and heed which we did give unto them. 
And there was also written upon them a new writing, which 
was plain to be read, which did give us understanding con- 
cerning the ways of the Lord; and it was written and changed 
from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which 
we gave unto it. And thus we see that by small means the 
Lord can bring about great things." 

Nephi's God certainly had an eye to convenience in 
this cute little affair. He had usually taken the trouble 
to send an angel down from heaven, or come himself, 
to inform Nephi and his father as to his will, from time 
to time. But by this ingenious mechanical device he 
saves himself any further trouble in that direction. One 
of the spindles points out the general directions they are 


to travel, and the other one (possibly both) has written 
upon it directions for special occasions, as for instance, 
where Nephi shall find a deer, or a bear, or a zvild turkey, 
when the company are in want of food; the directions 
being ''changed from time to time, according to the 
faith and diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we 
see that by small means the Lord can bring about great 
things.'* Yea, verily. 

d. While upon this subject of ingenious inventions, 
let me call your attention to another, called a compass, 
also prepared of the Lord, which had the peculiar quahty of 
becoming balky and refusing to ivork when anything was 
done against the Lord's pet, Nephi. 

After wandering in the wilderness about eight years 
altogether, Nephi, at the command of God, builds a 
ship, and the whole party embark in it, with piovisions, 
etc., to last them during a trip across the Indian and 
Pacific Oceans, until they shall land upon the shores of 
the new world, their promised land. Everything moves 
smoothly for a time; for the "space of many days they 
were driven forth before the wind towards the promised 
land." But by and by, a mutiny on ship board! 
Nephi preaches, and his two older brothers don't like his 
preaching. But please read page 42, III Nephi, 5: 
37-42 : 

"And it came to pass, that Laman and Lemuel did 
take me and bind me with cords, and they did treat me with 
much harshneps. 

**And it came to pass that after they had bound me, in- 
somuch that 1 could not move, the compass which had been 
prepared of the Lord did cease to work, wherefore they knew 
not whither they should steer the ship, insomuch* that there 
arone a great storm, yea a great and terrible tempest, and 
were driven back upon the waters for the space of three days, 

* Just how thfir inability to steer the ship produced this teriffic storm is 
not explained. Probably the author mistook the meaning^ oiinsomuch. 


and they began to be frightened exceedingly, least they 
should be drowned in the sea; nevertheless they did not 
l<f)Ose me. 

"And it came to pass that we were about to be swallowed 
up in the depths of the sea. And after we had been driven 
back upon the sea for tlie space of four dnys, my brethren 
l)egan to see that tlie judgments of God were upon them, and 
that tbt,> must perish, save that they should repent of their 
iniquities; wherefore they came unto me and loosed the 
bonds which were upon my wrists 

''And it can>e to pass after they had loosed me, behold 
I took the compass and it did work whither I desired it. And 
it came to pass that T prayed unto the Lord; and after I had 
prayed the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and 
there was a great calm." 

Now, friends, do ;not think me a natural fault- 
finder, or a cavailler; but how can any intelligent mind 
read this without desiring to ask a few questions? And, 
first, I am slightly puzzled over this binding of Nephi 
with cords by his brothers. They had tried that thing 
on at least three times before with very unusual results. 

On page 7, as these two older brothers began to 
smite Nephi with a rod, suddenly an angel of the Lord 
appeared upon the scene and said, *'Why do ye smite 
your younger brother with a rod? Know ye not that 
the Lord hath chosen him to be ruler over you, and 
this because of your iniquities?" 

On page 13, they became so enraged at his preach- 
ing that they bound him with cords, proposing to leave 
him in the wilderness, to be devoured by wild beasts; 
and he simply prayed unto the Lord, and suddenly ''the 
bonds were loosed from my hands and feet, and I stood 
before my brethren and spake unto them again." 

On page 40, as they were about to lay hands upon 
him, and throw him into the sea, he coolly straightened 
up and said to them: 

"In the name of the Almighty God, I command you that 
ye touch me not, for I am filled with the power of God, even 


unto the consumiDg of my flesh; and whosoever shall lay 
hands upon me, shall wither even as a dried reed; and he 
shall be as naught before the power of God, for God shall 
smite him." 

And the brothers' wicked purposes immediately 

collapsed : 

'* Neither durst they lay their hands upon me, nor touch 
me with their fingers, even for the space of many days, least 
they should wither before me." 

But in a few days after this, the climax of absurdity 
is reached; the Lord is represented as removing this ter- 
rible ban, * 'raising the blockade'* as it were, on this 
withering business, by introducing the following silly and 
childish expedient (page 41): 

*'A.nd it came to pass, that the Lord said unto me, 
stretch forth thiae hand unto thy brothers, and they shall not 
wither before thee, but I will shock them, saith the Lord, and 
this will T do, that they may know that I am the Lord their 
God. And it came to pass that I stretched forth my hand un- 
to my brethren and they did not wither before me, but the 
Lord did shake then even aco)riing to the word which he 
had spoken. And now. they j^aid. we kn«)w of a surety that 
the Lord is with thee; for we know that it is the power of the 
Lord that hath shaken us. And they fell down before me, 
and were about to worship m.% but I would not suffer them, 
saying worship the Lord thy God, and honor thy father and 
thy mother." 

But now, after all these experiences of the past, 
and this that he records upon these plates, you remem- 
ber, is not a hundredth part of the things that actually 
occurred; probably, upon "mine other plates" would be 
found a hundred such incidents as this; and yet, after all 
this, we are asked to believe that these unnatural and 
strangely perverse brothers still venture to bind this 
chosen favorite of heaven, and that this time they suc- 
ceed. No angel appears to rebuke them, no shock is 
felt when they touch him, no withering of limb or mus- 
cle; they bind him so tight that he cannot move, and 


the cords are not suddenly broken; he remains in their 
power for four long days. But, lo! instead of all these 
past experiences, an unexpected and unheard of phe- 
nomenon occurs! Their trusted compass, without which 
they are lost at sea, refuses to work, all on Nephi's ac- 
count; and suddenly a terrible storm arises. Nature, 
herself, proposes to show her spite for the insult offered 
to this peculiar favorite of the gods. And this storm con- 
tinues and increases its fury day and night, until, fright- 
ened out of their wits, and threatened with immediate 
death, these wicked brothers are forced once more to 
terms, and unloose their brother. Whereupon the storm 
ceases at once, and the compass resumes its wonted fi- 

And what, friends, has been accomplished by all 
this reversal of nature's laws and angry exhibition of the 
tempest? In all the Bible examples of miraculous inter- 
position, there is some important end to be gained, an 
end worthy the character and the dignity of the great 
God. But what has been gained in this case? An ex- 
hibition of spite on the part of Nephi, and whipping in- 
to submission those irate and foolish brothers. 

Nephi evidently designs in this narrative to ''pose'* 
as a saint of the first water, but look at the facts as he 
himself states them. His wife and babes were pleading 
and crying with tears day and night, and his poor old 
father and mother were so overcome by the excitement 
and the excessive strain of the four days' terrific storm 
that they were prostrated, and brought down to death's 
door; and, in fact, the whole company are about to be 
swallowed up in the angry sea; and yet this man, Nephi, 
not only refuses to pray and thus bring about a great 
calm, but he coolly occupies his holy soul in spiritual ex- 


ercises, for he says, ^'Nevertheless, I did look unto my 
God, and I did praise him all the day long." As much 
as to say to his brothers, "Now I have got you, and we 
will see who will beat this time! Let the old folks die, 
and wife and babies cry, it will not disturb my peace so 
long as I can whip you into submission by the help of 
this storm and the balky compass! When you say 
'quits,' and unloose me, then I will pray and fix this 
thing up, but not till then!" 

But a word about that compass. It is exceedingly 
puzzling to ascertain what it was good lor. Apparently 
as useless as a "fifth wheel." 

If the pointers in that brass director worked as 
usual, pointing out the direction they should go, of 
what possible use the compass? If, however, that brass 
director was a land machine and would not work upon 
salt water, how did Nephi find out the directions he must 
go to reach the desired promised land. He had never 
been there, never met one who had been there, how then 
did he know which way to work his compass? And when 
the naughty compass refused to work for the brothers, 
how did they find out that they were goiiig backwards 
, during the four days of storm? And if they did know 
without the aid of the compass that they were going 
backwards, what was the use of the compass? And why did 
they not shift their sails and go the other way? And 
when finally Nephi took the compass "and it did work 
whither I desired it,'' not controlled, as the modern com- 
pass, by the earth's currents, but by the sweet will of 
Nephi, we ask again, what use the compass?* 

♦About as useful as the pioneer hog- scales cf California. A wide 
plank is balanced across a lo^, the hog fastened to one end, and stones piled 
on ihe other end till they balance the hog^; and then £uess at the weight of the 


e. I had reserved for the last what is evidently our 
author's great ''master-piece" in the way of astounding 
miracles. But I have already exhausted your patience 
by the extreme length of this service, and I will, there- 
fore, only in the briefest possible manner, allude to this 
climax of all the miracles, which occupies four or five 
pages of very closely printed matter in the Book of Mor- 
mon, and gathers into it more that is strange and unac- 
countable and foolish and physically impossible, I may 
safely say, than any other miracle ever performed upon 
earth. The author, evidently, mounts the fiery steed of 
his imagination and herds together every strange thing, 
every wonderful thing, every blood-curdling story, and' 
every impossible thing he had ever heard of, or thought 
of, or dreamed of, and attempts, in this one master effort, 
to combine them all into one htcge miracle! 

He finds the fitting occasion for such a display of 
exalted genius in the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the 
central point in this world's history; in fact, the central 
act in the grander drama of the entire universe of worlds. 

In the New Testament record, we learn that while 
the Lord Jesus was suspended upon the cross, from the 
sixth hour to the ninth hour, there was darkness over all 
the land, that is, the land of Judea. This darkness was 
followed by an earthquake, the rending of the veil in the 
temple, etc., at the instant Jesus expired upon the cross, 
as if nature were expressing her sympathy with her suffer- 
ing and dying Creator. All instantly ceased, however, 
as soon as Jesus* sufferings were ended and his soul re- 

But our author, true to his instincts to beat the 
Bible, and everything ever written by man or by the 
gods, begins his account by recording a three hours' 


storm, the most terrific and destructive ever heard of. 
In three hours, destruction and desolation have swept 
over this entire country, from the southern coasts of 
South America to the northern seas of this northern 
continent. Sixteen great and populous cities are ex- 
pressly mentioned by name as completely annihilated. 
Some of them set on fire and burned to ashes by the 
terrific lightning; others sunk down into the earth, the 
earth opening her mouth and swallowing them up; others 
still, upon the sea coast, swept away by immense ocean 
waves; while still others were covered up in an instant 
by a neighboring mountain tipping over and burying 
them out of sight. And these sixteen are only specimens 
of the fearful destruction that swept over the entire 

"And there was a great and terrible destruction in the 
laud southward (South America), but behold, there was a 
more ^aeat and terrible destruction in the land northward 
(North America): for behold, the whole face of the land was 
changed, because of the tempests and the whirlwinds and the 
thunderings and the lightnings and the exceeding great quak- 
ing of the whole earth. * * * And many great and nota- 
ble cities were sunk, and many burned, and many shook un- 
til the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth, and the in- 
habitants thereof were slain." Some cities remained, "but 
the damage thereof was exceeding great. * * * And thus 
the face of the whole earth became deformed." 

And all this frightful destruction of human life and 
property, and deforming of earth, /^r ^^//^^/.^ To signal- 
ize the consumation of God's grand plan of mercy, of 
salvaii07iy of peace and good will to' men !* 

But this was only the beginning of wonders. After 

*Tn entire harmony and beautiful accord with the real design of Jesus' 
death, we learn that in Palestine, (See Matthew, 27: 52, 53), at the instant 
Jesus said, '*Jt is finished," and g^ave up the Ghost, grraves were opened, and 
many bodies of the saints which slept arose, etc. That is, ///^, resurrection^ 
^n^nnt destructiott and death, were the accompaniments of Jesus* completion 
of the grand work of human redemption. 


three hours' of storm, then the darkness began. And 
such darkness! 

*'Thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch 
that the inhabitants thereof could feel the vapor of darkness; 
and there could be no light, neither candles, neither torches, 
neither could there be a fire kindled with their fine and ex- 
ceedinof dry wood " (Friends, could God inspire such non- 
sense?) And this "did last for the space of three day 8." Mean- 
time, *'There was great mourning and howling and weeping 
among all the people continually. * * * And thus were 
the bowlings of the people great and terrible." 

And right in the midst of all this horrible tempest 
and darkness that extinguished fires, and would not al- 
low hghts to burn, and the terrible bowlings of the peo- 
ple, the Lord Jesus suddenly appears upon the scene! His 
body, of course, was at that time peacefully sleeping in 
Joseph's new tomb in Palestine; but his spirit appears 
and speaks with the most remarkable voice that has ever 
been heard on earth: 

"And it came to pass that there was a voice heard among 
all the inbaV)itants of the earth, upon all the face of this land 
("This land," at that time, included the whole of North and 
South America,) crying wo, wo, wo, unto the people." 

And then follows an address that occupies two pages, 
in which he recounts all the terrible things that have oc- 
curred, mentions the names of the various cities that 
have been so suddenly blotted out of existence, and tells 
the reason why this terrible visitation has been permitted, 
because of their sins, dll the while proceeding upon the 
supposition that those whom he is addressing know all 
the facts. But do they? Let me read you again : 

"And in one place they were heard to cry, saying. Oh, 
that we had repented before this great and terrible day, and 
then would our brethren have been spared, and they would 
not have been burned in that great city Zarahemla." 


How did they know that the city of Zarahemla had 
been burned? 

"And in another place they were heard to cry and mourn, 
saying, ( )h, that we had repented before this iiieut aud terri- 
ble day, and had n^t killed aad btoaei the prophets, and catt 
them out (A quotation from the New Testament): then would 
our mothers and our fair daughters and our children have 
been spared, and not have been buried up in that great city 

This is the silliest nonsense; a physical impossibility. 
Please recall the situation. At the very beginning- of 
such a frightful storm, a most destructive tornado and 
earthquake combined, every family will rush to their cel- 
lars, or out to some place of shelter, and there remain, 
frightened beyond a thought of their neighbors till the 
fury of the storm has passed. But they have scarcely 
reached their hiding places when this awful darkness 
overtakes them, and they are buried as in a living grave 
for the three days! No lights are possible, they can see 
nothing; and as the horrible roar ot the tempest, and 
the reeling and rocking of the earth beneath them con- 
tinues, they dare not venture outside, least they be over- 
whelmed. They, therefore, know nothing and can know 
nothing of what has happened to their nearest neighbors; 
how much less of towns and cities that are hundreds and 
some of them thousands of miles apart. The telegraph 
wires are all down, the railroad tracks are all torn up, 
the telephone business as well as the daily papers have 
all suspended, besides, the public highways have been 
rendered impassable; there is, therefore, no possibility 
of finding out, till after the darkness passes away, that 
the inhabitants of that great city Zarahemla have been 
burned, or that a mountain has tipped over and buried 
that great city Moronihah and its people out of sight 


forever. The whole conception, as you see, Is most ri- 
diculously absurd, and so is the closing scene: 

*'ADd it came to pass that thus did the three da\s pass 
away. And it was in the morning, and the darkness "dissap- 
pears from off the face of the land, and the earth did cease to 
tremble, and th8 rocks did cease to rend, and the dreadful 
groanings did cease, and all the tumultuous noises did pass 
away, and the earth did cleavt^ together again that it stood,(?) 
and the mourning, and the weeping, and the wailing of 
the people who were snared alive did cease; and their mourn- 
ing was turned into joy,* and their lamentations into the 
praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord Jesus Christ, their 

My dear friends, I have spoken thus earnestly and 
plainly because my whole soul is moved, profoundly 
moved, in this matter. I believe with all my heart, I am 
forced by irresistable logic to believe, that the Book of 
Mormon is a fraud. And believing this, I ought to 
speak earnesdy and plainly. Let me read you again the 
earnest, pointed words of one of your most revered 
leaders, Orson Pratt: 

'This book must be either true or false. If true, it is one 
of the most important messages ever sent from God to man, 
affecting both the temporal and eternal interests of every peo- 
ple under heaven. If false, it is one of the most cunning, 
wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the 
world; calculated to deceive and ruin millions who will sin- 
cerely receive it as the word of God, and will suppose them- 
selves securly built upon the rock of trutli until they are 
plunged, with their families, into hopeless despair. 

*Gue.tsnnt The first thing- they did that morning- was to crawl out of 
their hiding places, and run over to the next neig-hhor to learn how they fared, 
and send a messengfer to the other part of the city where a married son or 
daug-hter lived to see whellier thev are dead or alive. And «s all over that 
city they find neighbors and dear ones by the hundreds buried under fallen 
houses, or wedgfed in between bro cen timliers. oruised and mangled, and yet 
perhaps enoug-h left of ebbi'ig- life to plead piteousty for help and succor, and 
as the messengers begfin during- the dav to come in from the rural districts and 
Irom the little towns adjacent, with information of the desolation and ruin 
everywhere ))revailing, the time for real mourning begins. During- the three 
days it has been horror and fright and unutterable suspense; now, when the 
real facti are ascertained, will begfin the weeping: and the heart wailing^. 


**If, after a rij^id examination, it be found an imposition, 
it should be extensively published to the world as such. The 
evidence and arguments upon which the imposture was de- 
tected should be clearly and logically stated, that those who 
have been sincerely, yet unfortunately deceived, may per- 
ceive the nature of the deception and be reclaimed, and that 
those who continue to publish the delusion may be exposed 
and silenced." 

Dear friends, this* 'rigid examination" has been had, 
and *'tekel" — weighed in the balance and found want- 
ing — has been found written over every part of this 
book. It's very first claim kills it beyond recovery. 
God doesn't do things as we do. Perfection marks 
everything he undertakes. If the Book of Mormon is 
the work of God, there must be no mistakes, contradic- 
tions or blunders in it. In the Bible, some blunders in 
style or composition, or in its statements, may be ex- 
cused because it has come down to us through human 
channels, and is translated by fallible, imperfect man. 
The Book of Mormon claims to have come down to us 
pure from its ancient source, without any possibility of 
mistake from transcription, and then to have been trans- 
lated by the gift and power of God. No mistakes, there- 
fore, or contradictions or blunders of any kind are allow- 
able. But what has been the result of our careful exam- 
ination of this book? — full of blunders and mistakes and 
contradictions, and human imperfections from beginning 
to end. 

The Bible, as to its style of composition, is short, 
pointed, comprehensive, and says more on one page 
than any man on earth can say in ten pages, while the 
Book of Mormon is the very opposite, so full of repeti- 
tions, ol awkwardly expressed sentences, of useless 
verbiage, &c. , that any writer of ordinary skill can put 
three of its pages into one. 


The authors of the various books of the Bible are 
modest, never speak, of themselves, usually suppress 
even their own names as authors. The first opening 
statement in the Book of Mormon contains the word "I" 
and ''my" some sixteen times in an egotistical way. 

The Bible is original, it borrowed from nothing; 
Book of Mormon almost wholly borrowed; a large num- 
ber of its miracles and its historical incidents are bor- 
rowed from the Bible, usually worked over and embel- 
lished (?) until their beauty and simplicity are destroyed. 

The Book of Mormon is modern in its conception 
and make-up. A large number of words and express- 
ions are found in it wholly of modern origin, proving 
beyond the possibility of question that it could not have 
been translated from ancient plates. This was also 
proved by the existence of thousands of verses quoted 
verbatim, and not translated from our English version of 
the Bible, and proven by the unquestioned fact that there 
were not plates enough all told to furnish material for 
one-tenth part of the Book of Mormon. 

The contradictions of the Book of Mormon prove it 
to be a fraud. It contradicts itself in ways so foolish and 
needless as to prove that its author either had a short 
memory or a very little regard for the truth. It flatly 
contradicts the Bible in numerous instances. Its types 
contradict the types of the Bible. Its statements. regard- 
ing the Holy Ghost and his work flatly contradict the 
statements of the New Testament. 

Its peculiar way of writing prophecies proves it to 
be a fraud. 

Its large number of very strange and very silly mir- 
acles, proves it to be a fraud. 

Its wilful and malicious lies prove it to be a fraud. 


The angel that dictated this book has been over and 
over a,^ain proven to be ignorant, self-conceited, vision- 
ary ; given to exageration ; forgetting important matters 
of record, and making numberless mistakes. 

The God who inspired the book did not know his 
own name, forgot to furnish light and ventilation for 
Jared's ark ; proved himself as foolish and simple as a 
weak, over- indulgent parent in his treatment of his pet 
Nephi, and as unreasonable and as cruel and spiteful as 
a savage in his dealings with this pet's opposers. 

Friends, a book that has all these serious charges 
proven against it cannot be from God. 

And yet I am convinced many of you have honestly 
accepted this book as the word of God, without the 
means or the opportunity of a thorough examination. If 
the conclusions reached are correct, I have before me a 
company of men and women who have been deceived 
into the terrible sin of adding to the word of God, of 
placing along side of God's blessed Book, as its rivals 
the production of a wicked deceiver. With such a spec- 
tacle before me, I ought to be moved, profoundly moved, 
and so had y oil, 

I beseech you therefor, friends, by all that is sacred 
and holy, by all that is precious or desirable in the Christ- 
ian's hope, and by all that is terrible in the loss of the soul, 
that you will give yourselves earnestly and prayerfully 
to a careful review of this whole question ; search the 
Scriptures daily to see whether these things are so, and 
give yourselves no rest until this all important question 
is decided, and decided for eternity. 



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